The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says Nigeria will soon move away from total dependence on crude oil to exporting sector.
The Regional Coordinator of the Council, South-South Office, Mr Joe Itah said this during a One-Day Round Table Stakeholders’ forum on Cassava and Palm Producers in the Non-Oil Exports Sub-Sector in Bayelsa.
The coordinator said that Bayelsa was rich in cassava and palm oil production.
“The spate of economic uncertainties around the most economies of the world has shown us that it was time to really sit-up and even more than ever, seeks to do things differently to enhance the economy.
“It is in pursuit of this goal that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has established the One-State-One-Product project which in itself is an offshoot from the Zero Oil Plan Initiative.
“The Zero Oil plan is a federal government driven economic arrangement enshrined within the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to develop and promote 22 choice products where Nigeria has competitive advantage for export.
“It was first introduced in 2016 to lift the nation out of the then recession.
“Presently, the initiative is an integral part of the Nigerian Export Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP),” he said.
Itah identified the main product in Bayelsa as cassava, with palm oil as an alternate product.
“But there are few more other products of interest in Bayelsa that could do well in exports including sea foods and rice among others,” he added.
In his presentation, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr David Alagoa, said what they need is setting a task for all exporters to follow.
He said one of the problems with export is that one must register his or her company which made the person a businessman or woman.
“For you to go into exporting mode you must do a research before venturing into such a business, knowing the market to export your goods to.
“If you have not done any research by choosing where to export such goods to, either palm oil, fish, and cassava among others.
“You must not start big in a business, but you can start small, for you to grow it gradually before it becomes what you want it to be.
“People are exporting all sort of things, the leaves they wrap with moimoi with, brooms are selling abroad twenty time what they cost here, back of cannel shell can be exported also,” he said.
In her speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ms Patience Abah, said the Bayelsa Government was ready to partner private sector to enhance economic development.
She commended the organisers of the stakeholders’ forum, saying that it’s a welcome development for Bayelsa exporters.