Nigeria has recorded an unprecedented exportation of Cocoa and its products worth over N131.2 billion for the year 2014, according to statistics from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) office on Thursday in Abuja, the country’s capital.
Government officials claim that this development stemmed from efforts put in place by government to bolster market opportunities for the non-oil export sector through the National Strategy Export Products (NSEP).
Mr Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, had earlier in January said that the Federal Government had identified 13 NSEPs to replace overdependence on petroleum products in the light of dwindling global crude oil price.
The Minister categorised 13 NSEPs, namely, the Agro-industrial, that is, palm oil, cocoa, cashew, sugar and rice; others are mining-related cement, that is, iron ore/metals, auto parts/cars and aluminum; the rest are oil and gas industrial products, petroleum products, fertilizer/urea, petrochemical and methanol.
Aganga had noted that the continuous fall in the prices of petroleum products in the international market threatened the nation’s economic stability.
He said Nigeria needed to revive the national economy by deliberately giving priority attention to the non-oil sector for exports as a matter of necessity.
According to the statistics, cocoa and cocoa products were the highest exported products in 2014 with the trade volume on cocoa amounting to N131.2 billion.
It also showed that Nigeria recorded N43.191 billion export earnings from cocoa within the first quarter of the year; N18. 558 billion was recorded in the second quarter; N24. 845 billion was recorded in the third quarter; and N44. 695 billion in fourth quarter of the year.