The Federal Government has unveiled plans to create an export trading company to replace the defunct commodity boards, to aggregate main agricultural produce such as palm oil, cocoa, cashew, groundnut, as well as semi-finished and finished products.
Executive director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo, disclosed this while delivering a lecture on ‘Nigeria Export Trade: Focusing on the Chains and Regulations’ organised by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Lagos, yesterday.
The council said the proposed corporation, to be co-funded with private operators, would serve as a clearing house for commodity off-taking, quality control, price stabilisation and supply network for international and local industries.
The Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) introduced by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military regime in 1986 suspended all commodity boards, leading to unorganised commodity aggregation and fluctuating prices and supplies.
Awolowo emphasised that Nigeria had exported enough raw materials since the colonial era, and that it was time the country started adding value to the available raw materials to develop the economy, create jobs and penetrate competitive international markets.