- Canvasses Development of Export to Boost Economy
By Shola Fadeyi
The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council , Hassan Bello (Middle), during the presentation of COVID-19 kits by the Council. to the to the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers (LOMEP), through its President, Kingsley Anaroke (Left) as Mrs Okam , a Director at the NSC looks on.
Nigeria has lost not less than $17 billion revenue in the oil sector, the mainstay of the economy, sequel to the drop in the prices of the commodity in the international market, since the COVID -19 Pandemic, which has affected the economies of most nations of the world broke out.
The loss , is apart from those that have been recorded in the areas of taxation aviation , insurance , finance and other sectors of the economy, including maritime , due to the dislocations, which the disease, which has led to series of lock downs , has caused to the economy of the country.
Despite that the development is giving the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) a lot of concern , it has however made it to resolve that the pandemic , despite its calamitous effects, should be utilized as an opportunity by the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy.
The Executive Secretary / CEO of the Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello , while presenting some COVID 19 kits to the maritime media groups and other Print and Electronic Platforms yesterday in the organisation’s headquarters in Lagos , during which he made reference to the revenue figure, said the outbreak of the disease has made it necessary for for Nigeria to diversify its economic base.
He stated that , this is why , the Federal Government has now resolved to show more interest particularly in the promotion and development of exports ,to once and for all, break the country’s monopoly on oil , so that the economy would not have to suffer , whenever there are threats to oil production.
Bello said that the COVID- 19 pandemic has indeed made it compulsory for Nigeria to know that there is a need to place more emphasis on exports for the fact that , it is the direction that can give the economy a comparative advantage , engender balance of trade between the country and its neighbours and create a better life for the citizenry.
According to him, the Shippers’ Council has before now continued to intensify efforts on its various measures, to ensure that exports are encouraged , through the seaports, so that the value chain can be enhanced , while government earns revenue, even in foreign exchange, apart from increasing the level of employment in the economy.
Bello stated that the time is now ripe for creation of specialized terminals for exports at the nation’s seaports, to facilitate the export of agricultural produce and other locally manufactured products to their various destinations.
The Shippers’ Council boss disclosed that it is expected that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will also now come up with more incentives that will enhance export in the economy while the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) among other relevant agencies will also adopt fresher measures to promote the sector.
He said the Council as the economic regulator of the Seaports and a Think Tank for the government is ensuring that the Ports are much more efficient and customer friendly in such a way that export and other activities will thrive through them as the Gate way to the economy.