First Bank of Nigeria Ltd held recently a first edition of its webinar on non-oil export to increase awareness about the prospects of Non-Oil Exports in Nigeria.
The theme of the virtual event was “Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export to Nigeria; Harnessing Opportunities in AfCFTA Treaty, Agro Commodities”. It saw stakeholders from related fields present and shed light on the subject.
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan (CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd), spoke at the event. He stated that the oil boom brought wealth to many people, while the global oil price fall caused the economy to plummet. This is a reminder of the need to increase the diversification of the nation’s revenue base.
The bank’s strategy to drive trade transaction growth has been reflected in the digitalization and automation of client interface processes, as well as the establishment of a dedicated export desk.
Adeduntan stated that the bank provides end-to-end export solutions, including pre-and post-export financing products and services. Adeduntan also said that the bank will continue to support the sustainable revenue drive to grow the economy by providing nimble service and product offerings for export trade services. This includes structured trade, commodity financing, and treasury.
Biodun Adedipe is the founder and consultant of B. Adedipe Associate Limited. However, IMF’s report which predicts Nigeria will grow significantly in 2021-2022, noted that when output grows, it would most likely increase international trade and vice versa.
He stated, “We saw that in 2020, when the supply chain was severely challenged, international trade also collapsed.” The key thing in Nigeria is economic growth. We have evidence that it is growing like any other economy worldwide em>
He said that one of the benefits of non-oil export policy and action is that it allows for increased reserves. This referred to the depth of the country’s pockets and the number of import bills that the country can afford.
The larger the volume, the more comfortable we feel and the more stable our currency’s exchange value. I have found that export-led economies enjoy stability and sustained growth, based on my research. He explained that being export-led does not require a natural endowment. It is about knowing what to produce from the rest.
Adeduntan stressed that it was crucial to establish targets and take strict measures. He stated “If it is not done now, our contemporaries will act against us and the AFCFTA may find other countries expropriating this.”
Folorunsho Akintunde (Deputy Director), NEPC, represented the Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. She spoke about the importance of promotion in building sustainable nonoil export while also pointing out that its mission is to expand non-oil trade for inclusive and sustainable growth.
He added that the Zero Oil Plan was created in response to 2016’s recession. It leverages on the AFCFTA and prepares for a world where crude oil is less important.
He stated, “The Zero Oil Plan” is a strategy to boost foreign exchange through non-oil sectors. It involves the rollout of export policies for 22 major product categories that could generate as much as $30 billion per year. Also, the beginning of export projects and investment tracking within each state of the Federation under the One State One Product (OSOP).
Akintunde also mentioned that other non-oil initiatives can be used to facilitate AFCFTA. These include preparing and positioning SMEs for AfCFTA as well as export competency development programs, NEPC/GIZ Nigeria Competitiveness Project, among others.