Stakeholders in the Nigerian non-oil exporters sector will converge on Thursday, February 18, 2021 for a roundtable to disseminate the results of the study commissioned by PDF Bridge themed” Diversification and Non-oil Export Opportunities for Nigeria States Post-Covid19”This study identified and seeks to address the current and potential opportunities for selected exportable commodities in the international markets, at the regional, continental and global levels.
According to Dr Titilola Akindeinde, PDF Bridge Programme Manager: “Economic diversification is no longer an ideal aspirational state for the Nigeria economy, but rather an imperative for sustainable economic growth”. To drive diversification of the economy, the transition from oil to a more diversified export basket would require concerted efforts in identifying and catalyzing the key value drivers of the economy with the potential to propel market actors (both public and private) to pivot away from oil and into non-oil export, she added.
PDF Bridge commissioned a study to provide a comprehensive analysis on the export potentials of the Nigerian states and regions. The study themed “Diversification and Non-Oil Export Opportunities for Nigeria States Post-Covid19” addressed the current and potential opportunities for selected exportable commodities in the international markets in order to re-position the Nigeria economy in the Post COVID-19 era.
According to Dr Akindeinde, the study is part of the programme’s contributions towards supporting the Government of Nigeria’s in its effort at diversifying the economy away from oil.
“This roundtable will critically dissect the issues highlighted in the study with a view to generating recommendations on necessary actionable steps to be taken by Government at all levels, private sector and other stakeholders towards achieving a more diversified economy. We are looking forward to having robust discussions with the invited participants drawn from both the private and public sectors” she remarked.
The Non-oil sector holds the key to the future of the Nigeria economy. Although the Government seems to have recognized this long ago, evidenced by theseries of attempts to diversify the Nigeria economy away from oil dominance for more than four decades. From creation of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) by the military regime of Obasanjo in 1976 to the current administration’s “Zero Oil” agenda in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), weaning Nigeria off oil dependence has continually resonated as an economic sustainability priority. However, the performance of non-oil sector remains limited, and does not reflect the huge investments committed to the diversification agenda overtime.
According to Dr Olumuyiwa Alaba, Trade Policy Lead, PDF Bridge “The time is running out! It is time to move non-oil export beyond ambition and talks, as the events of the last few years have shown us that its either we diversify now or we ‘get exhausted with oil, an exhaustible resource’. We have encompassed ‘oil mountain long enough, let’s go non-oil’ he added.
It is within that context that the NEPC launched a “one-state-one-product” (OSOP) scheme aimed at supporting the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for each to identify at least one priority non-oil product for the purpose of value chain export development.
According to Titilope Ojo, Exporter Voices Lead, PDF-Bridge, “There is no better time to have this conversation. Running a mono-economy with huge dependence on oil is not sustainable and diversification of Nigeria’s economy is a matter of priority to survive global economic uncertainties. Improving the economy of Nigerian States is indeed a must to achieve national prosperity. Hence, the roundtable for all stakeholders to discuss findings and recommendations from the PDF Bridge “Diversification and Non-oil Export Opportunities for Nigerian States Post-Covid19’ study is timely. I am hopeful that through this roundtable discussions, recommendations will be generated on necessary actionable steps to achieve a truly diversified economy”
This roundtable will bring together Trade related Government MDAs and other relevant stakeholders who will use the evidence provided from the study to establish an environment that enhances competitive non-oil production and export. It shall also provide information to private sector investors on available opportunities in the sector and how to exploit such benefits.