Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has harped on the need to explore the inherent potentials presented by the Zero Oil Plan for export market.
NEPC’s Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo disclosed this in Makurdi the Benue State capital during the Implementation of Soya Beans Value chain under the One-State-One-Product Initiative of the Zero Oil Plan and presentation of Threshing Machines/Equipment for farmers’ Cooperative Groups.
Represented by Deputy Director, Policy and Strategy NEPC, Akintunde Folorunso, Awolowo the weekend disclosed that the Council is targeting $5 billion of $100 billion annually at the global market from soybeans.
He noted that the Zero Oil Plan is in line with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), a strategy for achieving sustainable development growth, economic recovery in the short-term with structural reforms at diversifying the economy over the medium to long term.
“The Zero Oil Plan is therefore, captured in the ERGP document as a new direction for Nigeria to build an economy that does not depend on foreign exchange from crude oil for improved public finances, love strategic sovereign relationships, growth in real sector output, improved competitiveness, stronger economic linkages, grassroots empowerment, improved skills and competencies, higher wages and higher investments,” Awolowo said.
Awolowo stated that the strategic component of the Zero Oil Plan is the One-State-One-Product Initiative whereby each state chose a product and an alternate one in which it has comparative and competitive advantage in cultivation, production and processing.
He said the strategy is aimed at ensuring that the states and grassroots are linked with the National export value chain in order to facilitate Nigeria’s Economic growth through job creation and families ’empowerment.
“It is with this huge potentials that the Council has mounted interest to provide support for stakeholders in the sub-sector.
“Having built the capacity of farmers and processors on Modern Cultivation Techniques for Increased Production and Yields and Good Agricultural Practices in the Post-Harvest Handling of Soya Beans, NEPC is taking on more steps to provide equipment for farmers for increase production and productivity, ease of processing have with minimal labour and for having wholesome products for the export market”, NEPC boss said.
Also speaking, Trade Adviser, NEPC Benue State, Annaibem Eggon who was represented by the Principal Trade Promotion Officer, Mrs. Diana Angou revealed that Benue State accounts for over 65 percent of the nation’s output in Soya Beans.
Eggon explained further that although Soya Beans production holds the greatest potential for the nation’s Economic growth, lack of knowledge in production of the crop, poor pre-harvesting method, access to finances were still militating against quality improvement in Soya bean production in the State.