REMARKS BY HAJIYA SARATU IYA-ALIYU, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, MINES AND AGRICULTURE (NACCIMA) AT THE WEBINAR ON EXPORT OPPORTUNIES AVAILABLE FOR NIGERIAN BUSINESSES HOLDING ON 3RD SEPTEMBER, 2020 IN COLLABORATION WITH AFRICA HOUSE MIDDLE EAST OFFICE
I am indeed delighted to be invited to this auspicious virtual event ‘Export Opportunities Available for Nigerian Businesses’. On behalf of the Council and entire members of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), I bring warm greetings to all participants and distinguished panelist including the President of the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (KWACCIMA) Dr. Ahmed Raji who also played a key role in making this event a reality. Also let me also use this opportunity to commend the Africa House under the inspirational leadership of Engr. Abayomi Onasanya for staying the course with goal of consolidating the relationship between NACCIMA and Africa House International and especially the Middle East Office.
This is the second in the series of our Webinar with Africa House. The first was the training on Hydroponics which was well attended by NACCIMA members and we are delighted at this steady collaboration. NACCIMA has a long history in the promotion of non-oil exports especially in the area of agriculture, logistics and services just to mention a few. And our activities in this area is essentially carried out by our former trade group The NACCI MA Export Action Group (NEXAG) which is now restructured and known as NACCIMA Export Group (NEG ). The Chairman Barrister Kola Awe and the Group have been doing commendable work.
The theme of today’s event, “Export Opportunities Available for Nigerian Businesses” is apt especially with the recent downturn in the economy caused by the Global pandemic COVID-19. This has hindered many manufactures from exporting their products outside the country. I’m glad that this export webinar is in response to a historical challenge that has hindered the sustainable growth of our economy especially the non-oil sector which has continued to play a critical role in the economy. It is therefore my sincere hope that the current rejuvenation of the non-oil export sector will begin to grow exponentially as the result of sensitization such as this.
As we may already be aware, the export sector has helped in no small measure to boost the incomes of over ten million farmers in rural areas across the length and breadth of the country. According to the recent second quarter 2020 report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics on foreign trade, the total value of exports stood at 45.64% which is a decline when compared to 51.73% in first quarter 2020. According to the report, the non-oil sector account for only 15.90%, this indicates that the potential of the non-oil sector has not been fully harnessed.
Studies have shown the immense potential of the non-oil sector to the economy. Unfortunately problems in the areas of infrastructure, finance, information and regulatory gaps have impeded the growth of the non-oil sector. Thus, in line with NACCIMA’s mission to promote the growth and competitiveness of Nigerian businesses, NACCIMA through its Export Group work closely with stakeholders such as Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and other relevant agencies in proffering practical solutions to challenges of the non-oil export, we therefore look forward to recommendations from this Event.
In concluding, let me say NACCIMA will continue to partner with Africa House to harness the export opportunities for Nigeria and create a conducive and friendly business environment for the pursuit of economic activities of interest to the Private Sector and the economy at large.Thank you all for listening and God bless you all