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NESG Boss Tasks FG On Non-Oil Export

Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, the Director General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), has called on the Federal Government to pay special attention to the country’s non-oil export sector.
Jaiyeola made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the sector was fundamental to economic diversification, rapid revenue base expansion, sustainable growth and employment generation.
Jaiyeola also advised the government to harmonise its non-oil export stimulation policies and ensure consistency in the administration of intervention funds to non-oil exporters.
NAN reports that his advice came against the backdrop of complaints by exporters of non-oil products about alleged policy inconsistency and other issues in the sector.
The NESG boss stressed the need for the Federal Government to immediately put machinery in place to address the challenges, emphasising that there was no time for further delay.
Jaiyeola said: “We all know what the issues are and what should be done to tackle them.
“ It is imperative we start addressing them right now, and in a coordinated fashion.
“I know we have policies meant to address all these things, but they need to be harmonised and properly implemented to ensure that they work.
“People want to invest in the non-oil export sector, but our institutions and infrastructure must be right, our monetary policies must be consistent and macro economy level stable.
“But we scare them when we say one thing today and another tomorrow. ‘’
He advised the government to urgently put machinery in place to address the high cost of doing business in the country to boost the manufacturing sector.
According to him, the depletion of the external reserves and crash in the value of the naira is due to high demand for foreign exchange occasioned by the country’s overdependence on imports.
“We need to reduce the demand for foreign exchange (forex) by producing locally and making sure we increase the basket to earn forex.
“South Africa, for example, has had significant revaluation of its currency almost by 100 per cent, but the people there are not making noise because their consumption pattern is local.
“Everything they need is available locally so their noise is not as much as ours.
“ The rising cost of dollars affects you and I because even to buy toothpick we must go outside.
“But if the things we need were produced locally, it would not matter to us how much anybody is selling dollars.
“If our schools were good for our children to attend or our hospitals standard, nobody would be looking for dollars to pay for schools abroad or spend on medical tourism,’’ he said.
Jaiyeola also advised Nigerians to be patient with government, noting that it would take time for rescue efforts to bear the desired fruits.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Export Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Obiora Madu, identified the challenges facing non-oil exporters to include lack of incentives.
Madu cited logistics/infrastructure deficiency, lack of quality control measures and high cost of doing business as other constraints hindering the growth of the sector. (NAN)

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