Nigeria should stop exporting its primary products to generate more income – Expert

The Director of Entrepreneur Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Peter Bankole, has called on the Federal Government to stop the importation of primary products.
He added that for Nigeria to actually generate more income, locally, the value chain must be improved, for which N6.5bn has been allocated in the 2018 Budget.
Speaking on SMEs/Entrepreneurship at the Nigerian Economic Outlook with the theme: “Positioning for Growth and Opportunities,” Bankole noted that Nigeria had been wasting resources on the importation of primary products.
“Whether it is ones that are the top end, like rice, wheat, and all of that, or soya. Almost N6.5bn is being assigned for value chain development.
“Up until a few years ago, we were wasting the resources, while for me, this is an assets that we have and we are just at best exporting those things in the raw form or very minimal value addition.
He also advised that the best way our product can add value is when they are accepted abroad.
“Egusi, for instance: You can’t take it legally to the United Kingdom. Why? Because of afro-toxin. That, unfortunately, makes the product not to be acceptable to most markets.
“When you eat it consistently, you begin to have organ failure. People now have kidney stones. That does not mean that I am discouraging people from eating egusi. One of the companies I am helping is to develop afro-toxin free egusi.
“So, I am happy that the federal government, through the budge, is focusing on developing the value chain, so as to make most products more acceptable not to just to our markets, but different markets.
“Why can’t we convert those primary products into snacks? For instance, somebody asked me, what snack can you make from Nigeria, I said ‘Kulikuli’.
“We went to one market in the UK and someone brought Kulikuli and gave it to them to see how it goes. In less than twenty-four hours, all was gone.
“It means that all you need to do is to put efforts and acts together to develop a market outside Nigeria. Apart from the N6.5b on value chain development, there is a whole lot around capacity building and support services. Now, from the ministries to various agencies, there is a whole lot that has been budgeted for.”

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