- Nigeria Loses N30tr to Oil Price Crash, Says Awolowo
The Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Olusegun Awolowo yesterday lamented that Nigeria has lost over N30trillion of export revenue to the crash in oil prices.
Awolowo spoke at a one day NEPC, RVO, CBI Export Roundtable and Exhibition on Export Competency Development programme in Abuja, said the loss was between 2015-2017.
He said last month, the national economic management team established the national committee on export promotion to ensure effective coordination of the zero oil plan in the 36 states of the federation.
He said the recent recession was due to a $30billion annual deficit in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings due to low oil prices.
He said: “Nigeria must replace these lost export revenues in order to sustain economic growth, stabilise the naira, sustain federal and state government income and boost employment.
“There is an urgency to ramp up non-oil exports, as our future earnings from crude oil which is facing significant headwinds. This is elevated as the financial outlook on crude oil weakens day by day and poses increasing threat on oil dependent economy just like Nigeria. We are at a critical point in Nigeria’s history which requires bold and decisive action to restructure and reposition our economy to survive without oil.
“The council’s goal is to grow Nigeria’s non-oil export revenue from N1.5trillion per annum to N5trillion within three to four years, and over N10trillion over the longer term. The economic consequences are dire for our country to keep crude oil as its primary source of export revenue. There is too much oil supply and shrinking demand.
“The zero plan has been included as a central part of Nigeria economic recovery plan. The three products under the export competency development pilot scheme are among the 22 in the zero oil plan.
“Our export outlook in 2017 shows some positive developments. A lot of cashew plantation with jumbo varieties are springing up, from a raw cashew production of about 150,000tons to 15,000 tons are processed ii Nigeria which is just 10 per cent. We see enormous potential in processing.”
Awolowo added that the cocoa sector has suffered a setback since 2017 but the longer term prospects are positive and we need to be in position to take advantage of that opportunity.