The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says the Federal Government has agreed to pay the arrears of Export Expansion Grant (EEG) owed manufacturing exporters, to encourage non-oil export activities.
Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr Segun Awolowo, disclosed this on Monday during a factory tour of Valency Cashew Processing Ltd at Ibafo in Ogun State.
“We are negotiating with the Debt Management Office; we also want to have a forensic audit to ascertain these claims properly, because they run into billions of dollars.
“Government has agreed to pay off, treat it as a national debt and appropriately spread it into promissory note over a period,’’ he said.
According to him, NEPC has commenced gradual implementation of the revised Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to assist manufacturing exporters, and to reduce the cost of doing business.
Awolowo said the visit to Valency was necessitated due to the urgent need to scale up production and processing of cashew for exports, to earn more foreign exchange for the country.
“I implore Valency Ltd to pay attention to quality standard and value-addition of cashew for exports.
“The commodity commands a global export value of over 4.5 dollars billion annually, which Nigeria should aim to grab a fair market share,” he said.
Awolowo said that Nigeria currently exports raw cashew nuts in large quantities, adding that 50 per cent processing of the volume would create about 9,000 jobs with a chain of economic multiplier effects.
According to him, Nigeria has produced 160,000 metric tons of cashew worth $253 million for exports in 2015.