Manufacturers, Adesina urge govt to prioritise non-oil exports
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) has reiterated its call on the Federal Government to prioritise non-oil exports as a strategic move to boost the economy.
This call was made at the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) yearly summit held in Abuja.
Speaking at the summit, themed, ‘Trade and Non-oil Export: Changing the Narrative for Rapid National Development’, the Acting Chairman of MANEG and Director, External Affairs, at British American Tobacco West and Central Africa, Odiri Erewa-Megisson, emphasised the importance of government’s support for non-oil export businesses in growing revenue.
She said: “It is important that the government steps up to support non-oil export businesses by offering incentives and allocating funds specifically to foster revenue growth in the country. The cost of running a business in Nigeria is hefty, compared to other places in the world. So, the government must provide incentives. That way, exporters can have a fair chance to compete with their counterparts in other countries and make a mark in terms of revenue growth.”
She stressed the need for the government to streamline regulatory agencies and alleviate the burdensome procedures faced by exporters, while commending the harmonisation of the foreign exchange (FX) rates, stressing that exporters should receive priority in accessing the FX market.
“All the barriers that are there – different agencies, duplicity of roles – there are so many barriers in place that impede businesses. So, they are outrightly generating revenue, but they are not bringing it back into Nigeria. They can keep it offshore. How can we change that?” she asked.
In his keynote address, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who was represented by the Director General of AfDB, Nigeria, Lamin Barrow, emphasised the importance of accelerating resource mobilisation for Nigeria’s economic growth.
“Nigeria’s revenue to GDP ratio at eight per cent, which is among the lowest in the world and lags behind the West African Average of 13 per cent. Currently, we face huge fiscal deficits estimated at six per cent of GDP due to high expenditure amidst dwindling revenues from crude oil exports. To address this, we must prioritise measures such as improving tax collection and administration, streamlining the tax system and blocking leakages in tax collection,” Adesina said.
He added that boosting agricultural productivity, developing value chains and attracting more private sector investments could be a sure route to sustainable revenue generation and economic diversification.
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