The Federal Government is targeting fresh $2bn (N394bn) as non-oil export earnings in the 2016 fiscal period.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Mr. Robert Orya, disclosed this in Abuja in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of a conference on how to stimulate non-oil exports.
The conference, organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with NEXIM, had as its theme: ‘Strategies for growing Nigeria’s non-oil exports’.
Orya lamented that the country had not been able to achieve the potential of the sector despite its abundant resources, adding that there was a need for banks to increase lending to non-oil exporters.
Available statistics showed that credit to the non-oil export sector had been declining in the last five years, with the sector getting about 0.6 per cent of the total domestic credit to the economy.
Orya said the dearth of funding from banks for non-oil exports was a major reason for the N300bn intervention fund set up by the CBN.
With the CBN intervention, the NEXIM boss said Nigerians would soon begin to see an increase in the number of non-oil products exported to other countries.
He said, “We have only six products in a basket for the whole country. Why can’t we look for ways of increasing the number of commodities? Because when you begin to export commodities in raw forms, you are exporting jobs and opportunities to other countries.
“We should not repeat the same mistakes we made with crude oil. We send our oil abroad, it gets refined and sent back to us and we buy at a higher rate. Where they are refining, they are creating jobs and they are creating a lot of opportunities for their own economies. So, this is what we need to avoid in the non-oil sector.”
…suspends Peter Jack, NITDA DG
Everest Amaefule, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the suspension of the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Peter Jack.
A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Communications, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare, in Abuja on Wednesday, said Jack was suspended with immediate for “misconduct unbecoming of a public officer of his cadre.”
The statement accused Jack of hiring 245 workers within seven months without approval and against instruction to halt the employment process.
Oluwadamilare said, “The indefinite suspension takes immediate effect from today (Wednesday). It became imperative on the strength of the deluge of petitions regarding several alleged wrongdoings in NITDA and subsequent preliminary findings of an investigative committee set up by the ministry.
“The petitions against Jack relate to illegal employments not approved by the appropriate authority and procurements carried out in direct contraventions of laid down rules and procedures unknown to civil service administration in Nigeria.
“Some of the infractions identified by the investigative committee made up of three senior ministry officials include unauthorised illegal recruitment of additional staff totalling 245 within a spate of seven months.
“As of May 29, 2015, NITDA only had a staff complement of 74. But from May 2015 to 31st of December, 2015, additional 245 staff members were employed in questionable circumstances despite clear instruction from the ministry directing the suspension of employment in the agency.”