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Govt suffers foreign exchange losses over export grant suspension


President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Tony Ejinkeonye

President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Tony Ejinkeonye

President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Tony Ejinkeonye, yesterday disclosed that the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, which was suspended in 2014, has cost the Federal Government losses of over N100 billion in foreign exchange earnings.

Ejinkeonye made the disclosure in Abuja, while highlighting the economic and financial implications of the suspension, on behalf of members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

His said: “Since the suspension of the EEG, the country may have lost foreign exchange earnings close to N100 billion. Most of our members who could not meet up with the burdens of high operating costs associated with export activities, have lost their foreign partners.”

According to him, “If the Federal Government is really sincere with the diversification policy and stimulation of non-oil export,
there is the need to re-introduce EEG, ensure that its operation is transparent and grow the sector in the overall interest of Nigerians.”

Ejinkeonye said the scheme was introduced in 1999 under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, to encourage non-oil exports and reduce the effect of cost disadvantages faced by exporters due to infrastructural gaps.

He said EEG recorded $2 billion (N400 billion) growth between 2006 and 2013, adding that the suspension caused non-oil growth, to drop in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The president said, “The idea was to motivate the exporters and also encourage export based activities in a bid to diversify our economy from the mono-export economy.

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