Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), on Tuesday, stated that with the economic diversification of the Federal Government, the country would survive with the zero oil plan initiated by the Council.
Speaking during a one-day capacity building workshop on “Improving the Nigerian Soybeans Value Chain for increased export” held in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State, Awolowo, who was represented by NEPC Regional Coordinator, North Central, Christian Elekwa, said each state was asked to identify and develop a product that would be exported and Plateau State emerged in the production of soybeans.
While noting that NEPC is saddled with the responsibility of promoting non-oil export in Nigeria, added that the agency has taken pragmatic steps to redesign non-oil export direction through the zero -oil plan.
“This is a cutting-edge economic diversification programme which intends to prepare Nigeria for a future economy without oil. The plan is an important component of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), a medium-term development framework (2017-2020) of the Federal Government and soybeans happen to be part of these products.”
Elekwa, who noted that Plateau is one of the emerging states in the production of soybeans and other soy products said if well developed, it would turn around the non-oil export fortunes of Nigeria.
“Soybeans are a quick-win product that is targeted by the Council in its product and market development activities towards the achievement of the zero oil plan.”
Elekwa, who admitted that the product is mostly produced in the Middle Belt region of the country said Nigeria is one of the major producers of soybeans and the country possesses the right resources and agro-ecology for soybeans production.
It has remained a marginal exporter of the product, hence the need for intensive development and promotion of the product for export.
He harped on the importance of packaging for Nigeria to be a significant player in the international soybeans marketing in the international market, noting that the challenges facing farmers and other stakeholders among includes, quality, storage, handling and packaging.