The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has inaugurated a steering committee for the implementation of the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) to boost the nation’s non-oil exports.
During the inauguration which was done virtually, Adebayo warned that if the known oil sector was not grown, the economy would remain vulnerable to external shocks with attendant effects of devaluation, inflation and unemployment.
The minister, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, explained that export growth was at the centre of the strategy for diversifying Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange.
He said: “We have witnessed the devastating impact events outside our control can have on our livelihoods due to our reliance on a primary source of foreign exchange.
“The coronavirus pandemic further amplified these vulnerabilities and reminded us that if we do not grow non-oil exports, our economy will remain vulnerable to external shocks and their ripple effects of devaluation, inflation and unemployment.
“However, I believe we are on the right path in addressing these concerns and have chosen the right partners for the journey,” he said.
Adebayo said the EEF was aimed at protecting export businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguarding jobs and de-risking the economy from shocks like COVID-19.
He listed the responsibilities of the steering committee to include ensuring that implementation of the programme in line with the Federal Government’s objectives and for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries was done on time.
Members of the committee headed by Adebayo as Chairman, include former Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, as the Vice Chairman; Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo.
Others include President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Mansur Ahmed; Director, Commodities and Export Department of the ministry, Mr. Suleiman Audu, and Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Aisston Consulting, Mrs. Suratu Umar, among others.