Friday, December 31, 2010


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This strategy presents the framework of the initial stages of a national consensus building process on how to prosecute the non-oil national export development and promotion effort. It takes cognisance of the dynamics of the world economic and trading environment as continued to be shaped by fierce competition among trading nations and globalization under the impetus of revolutionary changes in information communication technology and tremendous technical progress in manufacturing, agriculture and service industries, resulting in significant changes in the structure of exports of leading countries in world trade.

The best export performers on the international market scene are high-technology products, skill-intensive products and services. The era of national economic dependence on raw commodity exports has passed. Even though there is still scope for increasing export earnings and employment opportunities in this sector, the bulk of the wealth is in value-added downstream product diversification. The development and promotion of non-oil exports on a sustainable basis in Nigeria must take these phenomena into account to ensure that Nigeria joins the race of high export performers while strengthening export activities in other product groups in which the country possesses competitive advantages.

The high performing-types of exports, however, can only be produced by a highly educated and skilled labour force trained in high technology, science and similar disciplines. For Nigeria to join this race, the Federal Government must do a radical re-thinking of the educational curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary levels to enable a national educational and skill training system that is “tooled” to produce the appropriate human resource to develop such products. This should start with teacher education, procurement and installation of the necessary facilities in educational institutions. By its nature, this can only materialize in the long-run. Meanwhile, there continue to exist huge natural resource based export potentials outside the oil sector that can provide vast employment opportunities and sustain the non-oil economy.

The strategy, therefore, advocates a two-prong approach:

i. To pursue a vigorous export development in the agro-industrial sector and manufacturing, focusing on a shortlist of product groups as a priority, a second layer of product groups as a second priority and export promotion across- the-board.

The development and promotion of export of products in the shortlist will benefit from preferential access to special resource, comprising finance, suppliers’ credit, technical experts and advisory services, training, new technology, research support, and marketing to pave the way to successful ventures.

ii. To start preparing to join the high technology, skill-intensive and service exporting group of nations.

The preparations include retooling the educational curricula, special support to science, technology and engineering endeavours, special research grant to universities, polytechnics, technical schools, colleges and other research centres, facilities for acquisition of technology, and special incentives for innovation and new research findings, and bridging the gap between research outputs, on one hand, and farm and factory inputs, on the other hand.

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