In 2023, Nigeria’s non-oil export revenue experienced a slight dip, settling at $4.5 billion, as reported by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. Despite the marginal decrease, the country’s commitment to diversifying its revenue sources beyond oil remains evident.
According to punchng.com, The drop represents a $300m or 6.3 per cent decline from the $4.8bn revenue accrued to government coffers in 2022 and $500m less than the $5bn target set by the council for the year.
The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Nonye Ayeni, revealed the figures while addressing the media on the performance report of the non-oil export sector for 2023.
The reduced revenue followed years of improved receipts based on the government initiative to diversify the economy from oil exports.
She, however, noted an increase in the volume of metric tonnes of non-oil products exported from the country in the business year to 6.7 million, affirming the assertion that the non-oil sector holds the key to the revitalisation of the economy.
She said, “In 2022, there was a $4.8bn in terms of value. And in 2023, there was a marginal decline to $4.5bn. But we got an increase in the volume of export. In 2023, we had 6.68, million metric tons of manufactured, semi-processed, solid minerals to agricultural commodities.”
Explaining reasons for the decline, Nonye blamed weak poor exchange rate, surge in informal trade, political instability in neighbouring countries and export rejection amongst others.
Reasons for the decline are not far-fetched. They include export rejects, which we are already working on. We talked about the election and the new government that came in.
“Also, political issues in neighbouring countries like Niger Republic. A lot of our products go to the West African countries and we see what’s happening in terms of political issues, instability among the neighbouring countries, and generally economic recession, and then exchange rate.”
The NEPC boss also promised to minimise the surge of informal trade going through the land borders for effective revenue collection.
“We have gathered that there has been a surge in informal trade which is one of the things we are trying to address. So on paper, in terms of the volume, there’s a substantial volume increase.
“Why you are seeing a decline is because of the informal trade and we are working to formalise some of those trades.”
The NEPC boss also stated that 273 different products were exported, out of which urea, cocoa beans, sesame seed, soya beans/meal, cashew nuts/kernels, aluminum ingots, and hibiscus flower topped the list.
She further disclosed plans to double earnings from the nation’s non-oil exports for economic growth and diversification, adding that, “NEPC is very optimistic, and remains committed to working with the various stakeholders to ensure that our non-oil export doubles in a short time.”