What Osinbajo, governors discussed at NEC meeting

At a National Economic Council meeting dominated by presentations and discussions on how Nigeria can significantly improve and drive its non-oil exports, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed the composition of a National Committee on Export Promotion to review several ideas and suggestions tabled at Thursday’s meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Speaking at the NEC, composed of State Governors, FCT Minister and the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Osinbajo, who chairs the council, expressed delight at “the robust discussions we have had today, and the many useful suggestions made,” adding that both the Federal and State governments would work together to promote non-oil Nigerian exports.
“Whatever the FG is required to do, will we do and States should also take ownership,” the VP stated, noting that both government levels must sit together, work together and assist each other.
He announced a Committee of NEC consisting of three State Governors: Jigawa, Lagos and Ebonyi and the federal ministers from Industry, Trade & Investment, Agriculture & Rural Development, Power, Works & Housing, Transportation and Finance.
Other members of the Export Promotion Committee of NEC are the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, NEXIM Bank, and the CBN. Jigawa State Governor Alhaji Mohammed B. Abubakar is the Chairman, and Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah is Co-Chair.
The Committee which is expected to submit an initial report by November is expected to come up with a concise action plan on how to drive non-oil exports based on the presentations and discussions of Council at today’s meeting.
HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY’S NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL MEETING

A. PRESENTATION ON STRATEGIC EXPORT INITIATIVES BY HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development briefed Council on “Strategic Export Initiatives – A framework and action plan to grow and diversify export of agro-products.
· The Minister listed exportable agro commodities to include; Coffee, Cashew Nuts, Rubber, Kolanuts, Palm Kennel, Coconuts, Cotton, Ogbonno, Ginger, Timber, Shrimps among others.
· He told Council that agricultural export had increased by 82% in the first quarters of 2017, while export earnings from agric goods stood at N30.0 billion for the same period.
· The Minister gave the breakdown of the export earnings from various crops as follows:
i. Sesame seeds’ export of N3.7 billion to Turkey; N1.6 billion to China; and N1.6 billion to India.
ii. Soya beans export of N3.4 billion to Russia; and N1.2 billion to Greece.
iii. Frozen shrimp export of N2.2billions to the Netherlands.
iv. Cashew nuts export of N1.8billion to Vietnam.
v. Crude palm kernel oil export of N1.2 billion to the Netherlands.
vi. The total value agricultural goods’ trade in Q2 2017 was N261.92 billion representing 4.60% of total trade in Q2 (1.03% lower than N30.02 billion in Q1)
vii. Agriculture exports was 0.96% of total exports in Q2 2017

viii. Destination of Agriculture exports in Q2 2017 were Asia (66.38%); Europe (24.98%); Americas 4.37%; Africa 3.88%; and the Oceanic 0.39%.
ix. Agriculture exports in Q2 were driven by the export of Cashew nuts worth N13.5billion or 45.4% of the total agriculture exports and 1.37% of total exports.
x. Cashew nuts export to Vietnam was N12.16 billion; N1.4billion to India and N6.34 million to Kazakhstan.
xi. Sesame seed exports in Q2 was N7.0 billion or 23.6% of total agriculture exports.
xii. Sesame seeds export to Japan was N1.3 billion; India N0.9 billion; Turkey N0.9 billion; South Korea N0.8billion; and China N0.6 billion.
xiii. Frozen shrimps and prawns’ export was N1.6billion or 9.6% of total agriculture exports: Netherlands N1.5 billion; Belgium N0.67 billion; United States N0.22 billion; France N0.17 billion; and Spain N87 million.
xiv. Exports of soya bean flour and meals were N2.3 billion (7.8% of agricultural exports): N2.1 billion to Spain; N116.6 million to Ghana; N72.9 million to Senegal; N18.1million to Mauritania; and N2.0million to Germany.
xv. Other agricultural exports: Ginger N663.7 million; flowers N568.5 million; Peanut kernels and other groundnuts N481.3 million; and Milk and cream powder N282.4 million.

B. PRESENTATION ON “THE ZERO OIL PLAN” BY THE NIGERIAN EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL
· The Nigerian Export Promotion Council made a presentation to the NEC, on a plan to restructure the Nigeria Economy to survive without Crude Oil. The Plan is called “The Zero Oil Plan”.
· Council was informed that Nigeria is going through the sharpest falls of export revenues in her history, loosing over $100 billion US dollars (N30 trillion) of National export revenue between 2015 to 2017 due to the crash in oil prices, which resultant effect was recession.

· The “Zero oil Plan” aims at earning at least $30 billion from non-oil sources in the near to medium term as against the current earnings of about $5 billion.

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