FG targets N394billion from non-oil exports

The Federal Government is targeting fresh $2bn (N394bn) as non-oil export earnings in the 2016 fiscal period.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Mr. Robert Orya, disclosed this in Abuja in an interview on the sidelines of a conference on how to stimulate non-oil exports.

The conference, organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with NEXIM, had as its theme: ‘Strategies for growing Nigeria’s non-oil exports’.

Orya lamented that the country had not been able to achieve the potential of the sector despite its abundant resources, adding that there was a need for banks to increase lending to non-oil exporters.

Available statistics showed that credit to the non-oil export sector had been declining in the last five years, with the sector getting about 0.6 per cent of the total domestic credit to the economy.

Orya said the dearth of funding from banks for non-oil exports was a major reason for the N300bn intervention fund set up by the CBN.

With the CBN intervention, the NEXIM boss said Nigerians would soon begin to see an increase in the number of non-oil products exported to other countries.

He said, “We have only six products in a basket for the whole country. Why can’t we look for ways of increasing the number of commodities? Because when you begin to export commodities in raw forms, you are exporting jobs and opportunities to other countries.

“We should not repeat the same mistakes we made with crude oil. We send our oil abroad, it gets refined and sent back to us and we buy at a higher rate. Where they are refining, they are creating jobs and they are creating a lot of opportunities for their own economies. So, this is what we need to avoid in the non-oil sector.