Ogun State government says plans are underway to increase its non-oil export through partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in order to become Nigeria’s export hub.
The State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe, disclosed this when the Head, Trade Promotion Advisor, NEPC, Abeokuta Smart Office, Mr. Samson Idowu and his team paid a courtesy visit to her office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Mrs. Longe said the collaboration would enable Government assist more entrepreneurs in the State to export their goods through different duty-free windows, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Economic Community of West-African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which would in turn bring about increase in production, more job opportunities for the youths, as well as strengthen the Naira.
She added that non-oil product exportation was important in enhancing economic growth at this time, when the global economy was facing challenges, stressing that the present administration would leave no stone unturned in achieving its target on exportation.
The Commissioner assured of Government’s support to the NEPC’s “One Local Government, One Product” programme, to enable each Local Government Area concentrate on one product of comparative advantage, calling on the Council to come up with a detailed and result-oriented action plan.
She intimated that the Ministry’s capacity building programmes to help more entrepreneurs embrace export opportunities would commence soon, saying it would be virtual, via zoom, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola urged NEPC to re-strategise and engage prominent personalities to ensure that the cashew processing machine at Imasayi in Yewa North Local Government Area of the State was put to maximum use, as non-utilisation of a processing machine could jeopardise Government’s investment in the State’s agriculture value chain.
He noted that the State had programmes that would ensure various commodities were produced and accessed by off-takers, adding that the State government had recorded progress in its effort at creating enabling environment for businesses and enhancement of agriculture.
In his contribution, Mr. Samson Idowu said the Council remained committed to its mission in the State, noting that it was adopting new measures to increase non-oil export, calling on Government to assist in the provision of a common facility at the Technology Incubation Centre (TIC), Abeokuta.
He disclosed that the Council was liaising with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), to reach an agreement on solving the challenge of sourcing for off-takers, as well as promotion of improved local varieties, which would be competitive for the international market.
Wale Osunbiyi & Ismail Oladipo,
Press Officers, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment