Nigeria loses $190 billion to export of cocoa yearly – NEXIMBANK MD

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

The Federal Government has reportedly lost not less than $190 billion to the export of raw cocoa on a yearly basis.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director, Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abba Bello on Tuesday in Akure,the Ondo State Capital for the Southwest enlightenment and engagement forum for governors and exporters in the zone.

Bello stated that the country was supposed to make $200 billion annually it had been exporting processed cocoa out of the country.

The NEXIM boss regretted that the country had relied on oil as her major foreign exchange earner despite having about 44 commodities that are produced locally.

Bello said there was the need to develop the nation’s processing capacity to ensure that Nigeria benefits from the huge market for cocoa products, estimated at about $200 billion annually as against the current practice of exporting raw cocoa beans, whose global value is estimated at $10 billion only.

The forum, Bello said, was conceived to sensitise policy makers, investors, exporters, and potential exporters to the need for increased focus on the non-oil export sector as a panacea for the underachievement of the Nigerian economy.

His words: “It is rather a paradox that despite our huge human and natural resource endowments, Nigeria remains a mono-product economy, with the crude oil sector contributing about 70 per cent of government revenue and about 90 per cent of export earnings.

“Too often, the country has been confronted with challenges arising from the downturn in the global oil market, manifesting in sharp drop in fiscal revenues, rapid depreciation of the naira, unfavourable balance of payment position and high inflation amongst others, which ultimately leads to collapse of industries, high unemployment and increased poverty, as is currently being witnessed.

“The point of emphasis is that our country is so blessed, and our economy need not be tied to the vagaries of one commodity, which contributes less than 10 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.

“Nigeria remains a major agrarian economy and one of the world’s highest producers of cash crops like cocoa, shea, cashew, cassava and soya bean, to mention a few. Nigeria has over 44 solid minerals in commercial quantities, found all over the country, largely exploited”.

Bello further said: “Our services sector has also grown over the years, contributing over 50 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product, with sub-sectors like the creative economy, professional services and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), now featuring prominently.”

Bello said that Nigeria had huge potential as a country. And what is left is for the country to harness these potentials to meet the development aspirations and the South-West, being the economic powerhouse of Nigeria, need to take the lead.

He said many notable export-oriented projects were already being promoted in the South-West region and there is the need to have all hands on deck to boost the county’s revenue from export.

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