Nigeria’s macro-economic environment shows remarkable improvement- NEC

The National Economic Council (NEC) has passed vote of confidence on the present government as regards economic management.

It says that Nigeria’s macro-economic environment has shown significant growth stability since it came out of the recession.

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, made this known cwhile briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said that Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa presented an update on the activities of NEC’ Committee on Export Promotion.

Sule said that the report was sequel to the Zero Oil Plan, envisioned in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which was developed by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

“The plan details the non-oil export sector as the last line of defense for the Nigeria economy.

“The implementation of the plan is expected to yield results in three key areas–add an extra 150 billion (minimum) to Nigeria’s foreign reserves cumulatively from non- oil exports over the next 10 years; create 500, 000 jobs annually.

“Lift 20 million Nigerians out of poverty, contributing towards SDG-No Poverty.’’

Sule said that the Abubakar listed the achievements recorded by the committee.

The achievements include the design of an implementation plan for project implementation; harmonised export development plan submitted by states; identified projects based on the implementation plan and states submissions.

Others are setting up templates and schematics for domestic export warehouse and anchor programme for exporters.

“Provide processing equipment and conducted capacity building programme on strategic products in the Zero Oil Plan in Kaduna, Benue, Ondo, Edo and Imo States; the products are palm oil, soya beans and ginger.

“ Identify companies for the domestic export warehouse and aggregation centre for exportable products.’’

Sule added that Governor Abubakar further revealed other achievements of the Zero Oil Plan to include non- oil exports; excluding natural gas which have risen from 1.17 billion dollars in 2016 to 3.16 billion dollars in 2018 .

He said that the increase meant that strategic sectors identified in the Zero Oil Plan had seen growth.

“For instance, cocoa exports have risen by 79.4 million dollars since 2017, while sesame exports have also increased by 153 million dollars since 2016 – an increase of more than 100 per cent.

“The plan has identified the creation of five million jobs to date directly supported by no-oil exports, with efforts underway to increase this by 500,000 new jobs annually in line with SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.

“ A State Export Development Fund has also been created through N50bn debenture to be disbursed by NEXIM, in which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has invested.

“The fund offers long-term loan at single digit interest rate to qualifying export-oriented projects under the state export development programme and the anchor exporter scheme.’’

The Nasarawa State governor said that after the presentation and discussion, council agreed to include the Minister of Foreign Affairs as a member of the committee.

He said that NEC agreed that states could freely change their focal persons in the committee.

“ Council to follow-up on obligation of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Agency NIMASA regarding the financing of NEPC,’’ he said.

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