The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) announced on Monday that non-oil exports in the first half of 2023 generated $2.539 billion.
Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director of NEPC, presented the first half-year progress report on non-oil export performance for 2023, highlighting the achievements and challenges faced by the sector.
Dr. Yakusak expressed optimism regarding the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its potential to increase the volume and value of trade among African countries.
The figures presented by NEPC showed a slight decrease of 0.09 percent in non-oil export performance compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
Dr. Yakusak attributed this decline to factors such as the general election held in February/March 2023 and subsequent transition in government, which may have affected economic activities.
Additionally, changes in global economic conditions, including a slowdown in global demand and declining commodity prices, likely impacted non-oil export performance.
The report revealed that 224 different products were exported in the first half of 2023, encompassing manufactured goods, semi-processed items, solid minerals, and agricultural commodities.
Among the top 15 products exported during this period were urea, cocoa beans, cashew nuts/kernels, sesame seeds, and soya beans/meal, in that order.
A total of 1,058,791.27 metric tonnes of products worth $175.476 million, accounting for 6.91 percent of the total export value, were shipped to 13 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries. Furthermore, 859 companies participated in the non-oil export trade during the review period.
Regarding financial institutions, 30 banks were involved in the issuance of Nigeria Export Proceed Forms (NXPs) for the first half of 2023.
Zenith Bank PLC processed the highest NXPs value at 38.11 percent, followed by United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc at 10.50 percent and First Bank of Nigeria at 9.87 percent.
Dr. Yakusak expressed concern about the low volume of inter-African trade. No African country featured among the top 15 importers of Nigerian products.
Only 164,748.75 metric tonnes of products valued at $55.085 million were exported to various African countries, constituting 2.17 percent of the total export value recorded between January and June 2023.
In comparison, Vietnam alone imported products valued at $252,056,554.18, accounting for 9.93 percent of the total export value during the same period.
The Executive Director attributed the dip in export value in the first half of 2023 to the general elections and changes in global economic conditions.
NEPC reported that, between January and June 2023, pre-shipment inspection agents recorded 3,944,344.17 metric tonnes of products worth $2.539 billion exported.
The NEPC remains optimistic about the future of non-oil exports in Nigeria and is working towards overcoming the challenges faced by the sector.
With the implementation of the AfCFTA and continued efforts to expand trade within Africa, the Nigerian government aims to further boost the volume and value of non-oil exports, driving economic growth and development in the country.