By ADEWALE SANYAOLU
Manufacturers and producers of export commodities in the country have received a total of N254.09 billion from the Federal Government through the Export Expansion Grant (EEG). According to the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama, who made this known in Abuja, the incentives provided by the EEG had resulted in a massive rise in the country’s non-oil export from $100 million in 2005, when the scheme commenced, to $3.2 billion as of December 2011.
He explained that the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme has been a very vital incentive required for the stimulation of export-oriented activities that would lead to significant growth of the non-oil export sector. The Minister stated that the Federal Government is committed to enhancing tremendous growth in the non-oil exports and was resolved to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in the administration of the key incentive for non-oil export development.
Ngama said the scheme has been of immense assistance to manufacturers. His words: “As at December 2005, total export of non-oil products just came to $100 million. But as at the end of 2011, total export was $3.2 billion. So if you compute, you have over 300 per cent growth in export. So it is evident that the EEG scheme has been successful.” He, said, however, that two major reviews were underway. According to him, the first would be to categorize the manufacturers and producers of goods in order to take the peculiarities of every sub-sector into proper consideration.
“The proposed review was based on the realization that the scheme has been successful and our manufacturers and producers of export goods have performed so well that even the threshold that we put for them before you become eligible to benefit. They’ve met all these thresholds and therefore, they want the standards to be enhanced.
“You know when somebody is doing well, you have to lift the standard and one thing we have agreed here is to actually move this threshold in order to move the minimum acceptable threshold higher and they have assured us that they are going to meet it and even beat it. And I think we have to congratulate them on what they have done and even shifting the goal post because they want to do more,” he said.