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FG lists11 high financial value agro products to drive $150bn zero-oil plan

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo has come up with another ‘gargantuan’ zero-oil plan that will pump in $150bn to the foreign reserves in the next 10 years.

Explaining in Abuja at the opening session of a stakeholders’ engagement for the implementation of the Youth Export Development Programme (YEDP), he claimed that the Council NEPC has identified 22 priority countries as markets for Nigerian products while 11 strategic products with high financial value were expected to replace oil.

According to him, listed products that will do the takeover magic include palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rubber, rice, petrochemical, leather, ginger, cotton and shea butter. He dried that over the last five decades, “Nigeria had run a mono-product economy, entirely dependent, financed and operated on income generated from crude oil exports.”

Awolowo argued that time has come for change in the key drivers of the economy as the regime of oil economy is on its way out globally for knowledge economy and agro raw material processing regime.

Backing up NEPC’s claims in another development, the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, noted that the cashew sub-sector generated over $813million between 2015 and 2017.

Speaking recently at the Cashew stakeholders and Export meeting, organised by the Association of Cashew Farmers, Aggregators, and Processors of Nigeria (ACFAP), the Minister agreed that Cashew being the second non-oil export commodity has been contributing significantly to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings, but unfortunately the potential are not fully taped.

Corroborating the Minister’s stand, renowned economist, Mr Bismarck Rewane, who spoke recently at the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria’s breakfast meeting, in Lagos, said future economic drivers include agriculture, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Rewane, who is a member of the Presidential Economy Advisory Council (PEAC), noted that with government’s intervention policies and subsidies, more businesses would spring up in cash crops which would necessitate increased spending on advertising and marketing communication