Mobilisation for disbursement of the fund began in September 2020. The aim was to help persons and businesses hit by the pandemic to recover and to help stabilise the economy.
The minister noted that the theme of the conference “optimising Nigeria’s non-oil sector” was timely as the nation needed ways to diversify its economy.
She said it is high time Nigeria looked away from oil as its major source of foreign exchange and started exploring other means to achieve a healthy, and stable economy.
The minister said the country is working hard to boost the visibility of Nigerian-made goods by participating in several international fairs to aid the promotion and adoption of made in Nigeria goods.
She urged all stakeholders to develop a measurable policy framework to aid the growth of other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.
Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director and CEO of NEPC, said a number of reasons were responsible for the urgent need of the conference.
Some of these include the growth witnessed in the non-oil export sector, the need for the revision of the many regulatory bottle-necks facing the sector, and a drive to push the federal government’s economic diversification agenda.
He noted that statistics from the Pre-shipment Inspection Agencies (PIA) showed notable growth in export proceeds from 2017 – 2021, a rise from $1.2 billion to $3.4 billion. He called on all stakeholders to participate in the conference to address any regulatory bottlenecks that could hinder the growth of the non-oil export sector.