Non-Oil Exports Earn N60bn In Q1

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The country’s earnings from non-oil exports in the first quarter of this year was N60 billion about $413 million), down about N75 billion ($517 million) recorded in 2008.
The chairman, Board of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Alhaji Yusuf Amazah, said in Lagos that there was a steady increase in non-oil exports until the first quarter of this year.
Amazah said at the Export Skill Acquisition Training Programme (ESPA), that total non-oil exports recorded an increase from $1.4 billion in 2007 to $1.8 billion in 2008.
He attributed the reduction in non-oil exports in the first quarter of this year to the current global financial crises, which he said, brought a lot of challenges to businesses all over the world.
He said that the federal government was concerned about smuggling of commodities through the borders and the illicit informal sector trade.
He said such activities deny the government accurate export and commodity data, revenue and raw materials for local industries.
Amazah stated that the workshop was meant to further equip participants with the requisite skills needed to acquire the export trade culture and be export ready.
“Export skills acquisition programme is a strategic framework for capacity building of the business community on non-oil and initiative toward developing a concrete trade training platform”, he said.
He explained that the training was targeted at exporters and would-be exporters, to create a pool of skilled exporters and encourage entrepreneurship to boost production.
The programme offers training modules that differ in scope and stages targeted at new comers in the export business and the existing ones.
He noted that such would enable them develop the needed skills and expertise, which exporters need to engage in export business in order to be more competitive in the global market.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of NEPC, Mr Aliyu Lawal, said that the workshop was in line with the mandate of the council.
He said that the council’s mandate is to promote non-oil exports and generate revenue for the country.
He reiterated the commitment of the NEPC to develop a more educated business community that could compete favourably at the international market.