The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said that it has identified 11 strategic products and 21 countries to market Nigerian goods.

The information is contained in a statement issued by Mr Joe Itah, Head, Public Relations of the council in Abuja on Wednesday.

It said this would help to grow non-oil foreign exchange income from $2.7 billion to $30 billion in five years.

It noted that Mr Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the council said this when he visited Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture.

“More recently, we have developed the Zero Oil Plan in response to this administration’s charge that Nigeria must begin to look for new drivers of the economy.

“The plan is Nigeria’s strategic effort to build an economy that does not need oil to survive and can serve as a major flagship economic programme for the country.

“The plan identifies 11 strategic products and 21 countries for Nigerian goods to grow non-oil foreign exchange from $2.7 billion today to $30 billion in five years,’’ it stated.

The statement said Awolowo had explained that the council as part of its strategies to reposition the non-oil export sector adopted some steps.

The steps, it noted, were the One-State-One Product programme for assisting each state to develop and promote a choice exportable product where it had comparative and competitive edge.

Others are the 13 National Strategic Export Products which are in three categories.

The categories are agro industrial – palm oil, cocoa, cashew, sugar and rice.

The mining related products are cement, iron ore and metals, auto parts and cars, aluminium, while oil and gas industrial products, include petroleum products, fertiliser and urea, petrochemical and methanol.

Also, the Nigerian Diaspora Export programme which has three major components targeted at Nigerians in diaspora.

“The components are cuisine beyond borders, establishment of Nigerian Heritage Houses and encouraging our teeming diasporas to invest in the non-oil export sector,’’ the statement said.

It stated that the minister announced plans to organise a national agricultural summit aimed at engaging the youth to get their buy-in and change the orientation that agriculture was only meant for never-do-wells.

The statement said the minister commended the council for articulating a Zero Oil Plan to support the rapid diversification of the nation’s economy through non-oil exports.

It stated that the minister noted that although there were several inhibitions to achieving total diversification from oil to non-oil but was optimistic that the challenges were not insurmountable.

Ogbeh said same advocacy must be carried to the doorsteps of state governors to make the states self-reliant and increase their internally generated revenue.

“The factors that would transform the sector include, among others, international best practices in agriculture within the entire value-chain in terms of quality and standards.

“Others are logistics, cultivation of high yielding species, production, mechanisation, processing, good preservation methods, marketing and packaging,’’ the statement said. (NAN)

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