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FirstBank, others partner to reposition non-oil export for economic growth

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 FirstBank others partner to reposition non oil export for economic growth
FirstBank, others partner to reposition non-oil export for economic growth

1 First Bank Nigeria Ltd. says it will leverage its vast experience in supporting business enterprises, especially SMEs, to support the federal government’s efforts to diversify the income base of the economy.

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2 Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank, said this during the bank’s non-oil webinar series on Tuesday.

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3 The Nigerian News Agency reports that the webinar was titled; “Roadmap for Building Sustainable Non-Oil Exports in Nigeria: Leveraging AfCFTA and Agricultural Products”.

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4 Adeduntan said the bank would use its experience to drive discussions that would allow existing exporters to expand their export businesses and also encourage new entrants in the non-oil export industry.

5 According to him, the non-oil sector has enormous value and opportunities for the country to improve job and wealth creation, foreign exchange earnings, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

6 He noted that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents an opportunity for Nigeria to be deliberate and properly positioned to become Africa’s export hub.

7 “This can be achieved considering our population, resources and economic size.

8 “At FirstBank, we have been at the forefront of driving economic growth and we will use our reach and connection to orchestrate growth in the non-oil sector,” he said.

9 Adeduntan said that to further the goal, the bank had created an Export Table to support the needs of exporters, including the design of export products and solutions to address pre-export and post-export fiction and services.

10 In addition, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, chief consultant at B. Adedipe Associates Ltd., said the country needs to shift its orientation towards export-led growth or an import-substitution economy.

11 Adedipe noted that the world in which Nigeria operated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was rapidly disappearing, highlighting the need to pay more attention to the country’s non-oil export industry.

12 According to him, it is necessary to build a supporting infrastructure to help export companies, as was done deliberately to boost economic growth.

13 He added that aggressive targets must be set and rigorous measures applied.

14 “If Nigeria does not act, other countries will act on us,” he said.

15 Commenting, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said that the council in 2016 developed the zero oil plan as a strategy to shore up non-oil sector currencies.

16 Yakusak, representative of Akintunde, NEPC‘s deputy director, said that through the plan an export policy was developed for 22 important products that could generate 30 billion dollars annually.

17 According to him, the council is preparing and positioning SMEs for AfCFTA through various trainings, programs and incentives.

18 He said NEPC was working closely with Afrexim Bank and ITC, to ensure Nigeria was ready for AfCFTA, especially Export Trading Company.

19 In addition, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, Controller of the Apapa Customs Area, advised exporters to familiarize themselves with the items that can be exported and those that are on prohibited lists.

20 He also advised them on clear product descriptions and proper packaging to facilitate product acceptance.

21 Also speaking, Mr. Eric Intong, Director of Regional Operations, Anglophone West Africa, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said that the bank developed various products, programs and initiatives to boost intra-African trade.

22 Intong said that to support the AfCFTA, the bank would spend $ 40 billion on trade and investment within Africa over the next five years.

23 He added that this was double what was disbursed for the same purpose in the last two years.

24 Source: NAN

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