Oyo To Harness Agriculture As Export Alternative To Oil

The Oyo State Government has expressed its readiness to harness articulated ideas and recommendations through the promotion of agricultural products for export, so as to reduce dependence on oil as the major source of revenue.

The State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, made the disclosure while delivering his keynote address during the meeting of the State Committee Stakeholders on Export Promotion, held at the conference room of the Ministry.

Olaleye said the purpose of the committee is to circulate necessary information on the efforts of the government through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council in relation to the government policy programme, so as to give agriculture the priority it deserves and also to identify agricultural products, solid minerals and service organisations viable for export.

He noted that the committee, which comprises of inter-ministerial collaboration among relevant ministries, departments and agencies at the state and federal levels, including stakeholders from private sectors, is expected to assist the federal government in increasing the foreign earnings of the country, as well as assist in increasing the state government revenue potentials from exporting agricultural products, towards accelerated development and economic growth.

He said: “We appeal to the committee members to come up with more good ideas to harness the potentials for growth and as well deliberate on hindrances to export businesses, particularly in Oyo State and give necessary advice and recommendations to develop state policy on export. Adding that, businesses are better driven by the private sector while the government provides an enabling environment, we will not jettison your ideas, especially as they serve the purpose that the committee is created for.”

Trade fairs

In her remarks, the Trade Promotion Advisor, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Ibadan Office, Mrs Bolanle Emmanuel, highlighted some of the activities of the Council in the state as advocacy visits, awareness programmes, capacity building programmes and stakeholders interactive meeting on domestic warehouse, among others.

She stressed that the steps were necessary with a view to sensitising and registering their businesses as exporters, in order to benefit from the Council’s servers and incentives which would equally assist them to connect with the headquarters.

Emmanuel stated that some of the challenges the exporters faced were access to good roads, trade support facilities, finance to procure required equipment, platforms to showcase exporters’ products, as well as security of farmers and their products.

She therefore tasked the state government to organise trade fairs which would give farmers opportunity to showcase their products and equally project the state’s agricultural values to the outside world.

Among the stakeholders present at the meeting were the representatives of the Nigeria Custom Service, Oyo/Osun Command; Nigeria Shippers Council, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Agricultural and Quarantine Services.

Highlight of the meeting was the presentation of an award of honor to Mrs Oluwatomisin Owoade, an indigene of Oyo State, who won the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Award of Excellence in Creative Arts, at the 5th National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, held recently in Abuja.

Source: Voice of Nigeria