MANEG Executive Seeks Trade Minister’s Intervention In Payment Of Export Grant Backlog
Okhai Ehimigbai, an executive of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG) has sought the intervention of the Trade Minister, Doris Uzoka-Anite in the payment of the backlog of the unpaid Export Expansion Grant (EEG) from 2021 to 2023, which has further increased their pain and hindered the performance of the non-oil export segment of the economy.
The EEG is a post-shipment scheme targeted at stimulating an increase inmade-in-Nigerian products the international market. The scheme is also intended to encourage the export of value-added products as raw agricultural commodities.
Ehimigba who is also the Export ManagerSteel, explained that the EEG which has facilitated the integration of the informal sector exporters into the mainstream economy through proper documentation of their exports and repatriation of their proceeds has
several suspensions since inception from several governments.
The grantoperators, who often face huge cost disadvantages in the international market infrastructural deficiencies, risk and high cost of doing business.
He wondered why the government had kept mum over thenoting that each time the initiative was suspended, there was an accumulation “which is what we are suffering today”, and also Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to do something concerning the backlog to relieve exporters of the burden.
“When you leave the grant to pile up for too long it becomes so heavy and then they cite fraud as the reason for non-payment which is wrong”, he stated, adding that the government had to pay the outstanding of past years because it piled up.
“The last government saw a reasonpay it. But as it is today, if we keep it will kill the companies that are exporting. One of the reasons for EEG is to soften our but now that there is no news about it, it is a problem for us. Non-oil down because nobody is interested in signing an export contract. The cost of foreign exchange to raw materials is high.
If the government is not making a pronouncement about the grant and thenwe see a few years and nothing is happening then exporters fear export contracts. “The cost of production is very high and we can’t compete with China and products are cheaper, and then EEG which is supposed to cushion our own cost is not forthcoming. So it becomes a problem and then ECOWAS is a region where we have an we it to the Chinese and Indians because they have a projection. Nobody is ready to a long-term contract, that is why the government cannot project the flow non-oil exports.”
He also lamented that the unsustainable budgetary allocation is one of the problems the EEG has to contendit remains a major constraint the effective implementation of the scheme. The EEG guidelines introduced in 2017 were premised on an annual budgetary allocation to be made. Therefore, there is a need to a sustainable mechanism the policy.
Ehimigba, who called for tax rebates and special windows for exporters and raw materials for production for export, also pleaded with the Federal Government to reduce the number of agencies managing thethat it was a case of duplicity of work.
“The government should engage core exporters, like NACCIMA, MAN, and MANEG”, he said