By Richards Adeniyi
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said only foreign exchange earnings generated from non-oil products will spur sustainable economic growth in the country.
The NEPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Segun Awolowo, who disclosed this at the EBS RED Quarterly Lecture in Abuja, said forex generated from remittance from Nigerian relatives abroad could not provide sustainable economic development for the country.
Represented at the lecture by a director at NEPC, Barrister George Enyiekpon, the NEPC boss said it was obvious that crude oil was no longer profitable as it was before, adding that the non-oil export should therefore be focused on by the country.
According to him, Nigeria’s exchange rate violability started way back in the 1960s; not just in 2015.
He urged the youths to focus on export as a business, as they would not only make ends meet but also help the country garner much foreign exchange.
But a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, Dr Mutiullah Olasupo attributed Nigeria’s economic growth problem and the country’s forex violability to corrupt leadership and lack of sound economic policies.
He said bad governance from corrupt leaders had wreaked huge havoc on the country’s economy, adding that it would only take sincere and corrupt-free leaders to savage the economy.
He cited Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea as countries that were below Nigeria in terms of economic development in 1960s and 1970s, but sincere leadership and good governance had catapulted them to be among the economic buoyant countries far above Nigeria.
The topic of the lecture, which was organised by the former Director General of National Poverty Alleviation Programme (NAPEP), Dr. Magnus Kpakol, was “Exporting, Exchange rate and Economic growth”.
Later in an interview with journalists on the sideline of the event, Kpakol said Nigeria could still get it right with present economic decisions of the government.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policies on agriculture, which were being implemented across the country, were excellent decisions.
He said CBN’s agriculture policies would not only ensure food security but was also capable of giving the country a sustainable and stable foreign exchange.