The Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday inaugurated the steering committee for the implementation of the Export Expansion Facility.
According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, also warned that if Nigeria failed to grow its non-oil exports, the economy would remain vulnerable to external shocks.
He was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, as saying, “Export growth is at the centre of our strategy for diversifying Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange and reducing the vulnerability of the economy to external shocks.
“We have witnessed time and again, the devastating impact that events outside our control can have on our livelihoods due to our reliance on a primary source of foreign exchange.”
Adebayo added, “The coronavirus pandemic further amplified these vulnerabilities and reminded us that if we do not grow non-oil exports, our economy remains 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.”
The minister said the aim of the EEF was to protect export businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard jobs and de-risk the economy from shocks like COVID-19.
It said the primary goal of the facility was to increase Nigeria’s export capacity in the near term and its export volumes in the medium term.
Adebayo said the committee would ensure that the programme was implemented in line with the Federal Government’s objectives and for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries.
He said the team would approve the programme implementation plan and budget and ensure that the programme was implemented on time, on budget and in accordance with agreed priorities.
The minister, who heads the committee, said the team would approve the implementation strategy of the EEF’s projects and the target beneficiaries for each project where applicable.