Ivory Coast is being targeted by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in order to increase non-oil exports and foreign exchange revenues.
To that end, the NEPC is organizing a made-in-Nigeria goods show in the Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire) to educate Ivorians about the excellence of locally produced items.
The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, spoke in Abuja during the launch of the Made in Nigeria Exhibition and Nigeria-Cote D’Ivoire Excellent Award organised by SCIAYO and Ecomarkket, said the council was interested in boosting Nigeria’s non-oil export earnings.
Yakusak, who was represented by Mr Babatunde Falake, Director, NEPC’s International Export Office, emphasized the importance of non-oil exports in diversifying the economy.
He emphasized the importance of Nigerian exporters capturing the West African market before expanding to other markets, especially now that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement has been signed.
According to Yakusak, ECOWAS, which has a population of 350 million people and a GDP of $1.48 trillion, is a developing market where Nigerian businesses have yet to make an impact.
The Export Trade House, which was just opened by the NEPC in Cairo, Egypt, would enhance made-in-Nigeria products, lower logistics costs for Nigerian small and medium businesses, and create opportunities for young Nigerians, according to Yakusak.
The trading house, he claimed, will raise foreign exchange inflows into the Nigerian economy at the same time.
Mr Kalilou Traore, the Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire in Nigeria, expressed his country’s desire to strengthen trade and connections with Nigeria.
“Cote d’Ivoire is increasingly interested in strengthening trade and investment with Nigeria, in particular, because of the dynamism of our economies and also of the regional and continental market zone.
“In Nov. 2021, Abidjan hosted the inter-governmental meeting with Nigeria within the framework of the bi-national commission agreement. During this meeting, the authorities of the two countries took stock of their cooperation and signed many cooperation agreements.”
Nigeria’s non-oil exports fell by 39 per cent from N6.914tn to N4.194tn in10 years, according to an analysis of the National Bureau of Statistics’ Foreign Trade Statistics by Financial PUNCH.
Figures showed that the N4.194tn non-oil exports recorded in 2021 were 39.34 per cent lower than the N6.914tn non-oil exports recorded in 2012.