Increased export financing key to revamping nation’s economy, say experts
Industry experts have restated the need for continuous progress in the implementation of the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in the country.
One sure way of achieving the ERGP, they argued, was through increased investment in the non-oil export sector, which they said, would help to reposition the nation’s economy for sustainable growth and development.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, they noted that the huge amount of money used for the importation of agricultural produce and other food items, especially, rice, wheat, sugar and fish, could be reversed to make better impact on the economy.
In his democracy day national address, President Muhammadu Buhari had reassured Nigerians that his administration was focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015 through its comprehensive medium-term plan and the ERGP from 2017 through 2020.
He also said his administration continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimisation of import dependency, leading to reduced rice importation by 90 per cent and a direct impact on foreign reserves.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory Services Limited, Opeyemi Agbaje, noted that increased financing, vibrant economic policies and visible logistics support by government on exporting will result in improvement of standard of living, reduce unemployment, as well an increase capacity utilisation and foreign exchange earnings.
“We are not export competitive, which is visible in the cost of production and high cost of logistics in the country. Our value chain is very weak with a very poor quality assurance.
“All these are major problems to exporting, which government’s interference could help us overcome. Even in the ICT/Software and creative sectors, our policies are not supportive of progress, which makes it difficult for the younger ones to thrive,” he said.
Former Director General of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Isemede, said only detailed and planned export strategy would help the country address the challenges.
He argued that if ten per cent of what was used to subsidise import was invested in developing agriculture, the nation’s economy would blossom.