The Oyo State government has proclaimed its readiness to harness articulated ideas and recommendations that will reduce dependence on oil as the major source of revenue with promotion of agricultural products for export.

The State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye made this known while delivering his keynote address during the State Committee Stakeholders meeting on export promotion held at the conference room of the Ministry on Wednesday.

Barrister Olaleye said, the purpose of the committee is to circulate necessary information on the efforts of the government through Nigerian Export Promotion Council in relation to the government policy programme so as to give agriculture the priority it deserves and also to identify agricultural products, solid minerals and service organisations viable for exports outside the Country.

He further explained that the committee, which comprises inter-ministerial collaboration among relevant ministries, departments and agencies at the State and federal levels, including stakeholders from private sectors is expected to assist the federal government in increasing foreign earnings of the country as well as assist in increasing the State government revenue potentials from exporting agricultural products, towards accelerate development and economic growth.

He appealed to the committee members to come up with more ideas to harness the potentials for growth and as well deliberate on hindrances to export businesses, particularly in Oyo State and give necessary advice and recommendations to develop State policy on export, adding that businesses are better driven by private sector while the government provide enabling environment.

“This committee, which comprises inter-ministerial collaboration among relevant ministries, departments and agencies at the State and federal levels, including stakeholders from private sectors is expected to assist the federal government in increasing foreign earnings of the country as well as assist in increasing the State government revenue potentials from exporting agricultural products, towards accelerate development and economic growth, that is how to grow an economy and make a State self-reliant, financially.

“We appeal to the committee members to come up with more good ideas to harness the potentials for growth and as well deliberate on hindrances to export businesses, particularly in Oyo State and give necessary advice and recommendations to develop State policy on export, adding that businesses are better driven by private sector while the government provide enabling environment, we will not jettison your ideas, especially as they serve the purpose that the committee is created.”

In her remarks, the Trade Promotion Advisor, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Ibadan Smart Office, Mrs Bolanle Emmanuel highlighted some of the activities of the Council in the State as advocacy visits, awareness programmes, capacity building programmes, stakeholders interactive meeting on domestic warehouse among others and stressed that these steps were necessary with a view to sensitize, register their businesses as exporters, in order to benefit from the Council’s servers and incentives, which will equally assist them to connect with the headquarters.

She stated further that, some of the challenges the exporters faced were access to good roads, mentioning some like the Saki-Okerete border market, trade support facilities, finance to procure required equipment, platforms to showcase exporters products as well as security of farmers and their products.

Mrs Emmanuel therefore tasked the State government to organize trade fairs, as it will give opportunity to farmers to showcase their products and equally project the State’s agricultural values to the outside world.

Among the stakeholders present at the meeting were the representatives of Nigeria Custom Service, Oyo/Osun Command, Nigeria Shippers Council, Standard Organization of Nigeria and Nigerian Agricultural and Quarantine Services.

Highlight of the meeting was the presentation of award of honor to the winner of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Award of Excellence in Creative Arts, Mrs Oluwatomisin Owoade who is an indigene of Oyo State at the 5th National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises held recently in Abuja.

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