By Alex Okoro
OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has decried the low level of exports, saying the trend has stifled foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The House accordingly mandated its Committee on Commerce to assess the level of export promotion especially the activities of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in recent years.
The House took the decision following a motion sponsored by Mr. Abdullahi Faruk (APC, Kebbi State) during Thursday’s plenary session.
In his lead debate. Faruk lamented that agricultural production which used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before the discovery of oil, has been relegated to the background thereby resulting in the inability to produce enough food for local consumption and export.
He expressed concern that massive importation of foreign goods over the years and the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market have adversely affected the nation’s economy leading to serious depletion of its foreign reserves and scarcity of foreign exchange for international transactions.
He therefore advised that since efforts are being made to diversify the nation’s economy, there should be need to vigorously promote the exportation of goods it has a comparative advantage in other to increase foreign exchange earnings.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council was established in 1976 to lead the promotion of non-oil exports from Nigeria.
The Committee was mandated by the House to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.