Considering recent steps being taken to boost Nigeria’s non-oil sector, the country is expected to exit the age-long dependence on crude oil revenue in about 10 years.
The Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.
According to him, the non-oil sector could give Nigeria as much as $30 billion in the next 10years, the effect of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic notwithstanding.
“But more importantly, we must just continue, we must increase production and productivity all across the two sectors that the zero oil plan is postulating for the country and then we get out of it.
“We cannot run an economy that 90 percent of our earnings is from crude oil. It is just not working and that is what we are seeing throughout the years when we went into first recession when the world oil prices stood worldwide.”
While noting the changing world dynamics, he said: “We need to move again from just raw materials, we need to look at the entire value chain and that is where you create jobs and that is where you earn more money.
“So ten years’ time frame we are looking at to get to $30 billion but we must be consistent, we must invest more in the non -oil sector than looking for oil,” he said.
On the implementation of the Zero Oil Plan, Awolowo affirmed it has received enormous support and buy-in even as it is integrated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, adding that the National Economic Council has set up a National Committee on Exports to drive it.
Outlining the improvements achieved in non-oil export products and jobs created across the country, he said “even for what we are doing there now on this, we need to scale it up, and take it to more States.
“We are also positioning to take advantage of the great potentials of the global services sector, in that regard, we are working with the newly created Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to achieve export inclusion for youths.
“The EEFP will create jobs, employ women and youths. We will make sure the money gets to our exporting companies that really need it and expand the space for participation in non-oil exports by engaging in the entire eco-system including value chains. Money will not be concentrated in a few hands. We are moving from #Pandemic2Prosperity,” he said.
– The Nation