Non-oil ex­porters’ un­paid claims hit N123bn

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Chris Agabi

Ex­porters in the non-oil ex­port value chain are groan­ing un­der the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s non pay­mentl of N123 bil­lion ac­crued in­cen­tives as at De­cem­ber 2015.

A del­e­ga­tion of the or­ga­nized pri­vate sec­tor in the non-oil ex­port who vis­ited Daily Trust Head Of­fice said the back­log is crip­pling ex­port and in­vest­ments in non-oil ex­ports.

They called on gov­ern­ment to pay so jobs can be sus­tained and cre­ated and the econ­omy, di­ver­si­fied.

About 110 firms in Nige­ria em­ploy­ing over 11mil­lion peo­ple, mostly ru­ral peo­ple, are in­volved in non-oil ex­port. The Ex­port Ex­pan­sion Grant (EEG) scheme was in­tro­duced in 2005 by gov­ern­ment to stim­u­late ex­port ori­ented ac­tiv­i­ties in the non-oil ex­port sec­tor.

A con­sul­tant to UNIDO, World Bank and Part­ner at Afro-con­sult­ing Trade & Ser­vices Ltd, Dr. Navdeep Singh Sodhi who spoke for the del­e­ga­tion said for 10 years, non-oil ex­port com­pa­nies have in­vested in value ad­di­tion and pro­cess­ing ac­tiv­i­ties but now, the in­vest­ments are fac­ing illiq­uid­ity crunch.

“Now the is­sue is that about N123­bil­lion worth of the cer­tifi­cates are ly­ing in back­log. So the ex­porters ex­port but they are not able to re­ceive the in­cen­tives so there are a huge back­log and crises.

“The gov­ern­ment hasn’t made any state­ment that the scheme has been sus­pended, re­viewed or can­celled. Keep­ing it open ended doesn’t help plan­ning. We need gov­ern­ment’s def­i­nite pro­nounce­ment,” he said.

Also speak­ing, the Chair­man of NACCIMA Ex­port Group (NEXAG), Mr. Ade Ade­feko, said in the last two years, non-oil ex­ports have halved from $3bil­lion to $1.6bil­lion due to the non­pay­ment of the EEG.

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