- Stakeholders Advocate Future Without Oil For Nigeria
Stakeholders in the real sector have said that the time has come for Nigeria to develop along the non-oil sector and build a future without oil.
The stakeholders spoke at the 2018 edition of Meet the Farmers conference held in Lagos recently.
Making a presentation at the event, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr Segun Awolowo, who was represented by the Chief Trade Promotion Officer, NEPC, Samuel Oyeyipo, said the world’s largest exporters appeared to be wealthier than other nations and only three countries in the top 20 exporting countries depended mainly on oil.
“It is time for Nigeria to plan for a future with zero oil,” he said.
Awolowo said that the council had adopted certain strategies for choosing the crops that would replace oil in the economy.
He said one of the strategies was to carefully select the sector that could guarantee significant income to replace the lost revenue from oil.
Another strategy, he said, was to look at a product or sector internationally relevant and widely traded as well as ensuring that there was relative ease of operating in that sector.
Also speaking, the Director of Investment Promotion, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Mr Adeshina Emmanuel, said that the secret to diversification was to promote the Small and Medium Enterprise sector by intervening in some of the challenges faced by operators and helping them to gain global mileage.
He said the conference would help in creating awareness among the small businesses and farmers in the country about the opportunities in the Dubai market as well as provide opportunities for them to meet with key government agencies, finance and economic experts. Also speaking on the sidelines of the conference, the Chairman, Wal-Wanne Group, a private anchor borrowing firm, Dr Abiso Kabir, said that the conference was a very useful one as it brought together government agencies and private firms.
He said that the forum should focus on how the challenges faced by local farmers could be ameliorated; how quality of products could be improved and how exporters and farmers could successfully export their products outside Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, the convener of the conference, and Business Lead, Crenov8 Consulting, Bola Oyedele, said that being a part of the organising team had been both a humbling and insightful journey.
She said, “As a management consulting firm for Crenov8 DMCC headquartered in Dubai, it was almost impossible to ignore the obvious gap that existed with regard to agricultural trade between Nigeria and Dubai.
“Indeed, it is discouraging to visit supermarkets in the UAE and have little or no representation of the nutrient-packed produce that come from the rich soil of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. IAccording to her, even though Nigeria exports to Japan, Spain, India, South Korea and Brazil, and other countries in Europe and Asia, it does not export to the UAE.
In this regard, she said the conference was an initiative that fell in line with Nigeria’s new export strategy and would connect large-scale agro commodity producers from Africa to buyers within the GCC region using Dubai as a trade and logistic hub to form potential business partnerships across borders.