Posted on September 8, 2017
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council has improved the capacity of different government agencies and operators in the services sector in the area of data gathering.
The council, in its baseline report on the services sector, stated that it discovered a paucity of data in the sector, especially in the migration related statistics, arts and culture, entertainment, tourism and travels.
The baseline report also showed that agencies collecting and publishing foreign trade and domestic trade statistics were only interested in commodity or merchandise trade transactions with no interest in associated services statistics.
Speaking at an inter-agency collaboration meeting on services export in Nigeria, an international consultant with the NEPC, Mr. Henry Eteamah, said a lack of understanding of the services trade statistics, key parameters and indicators in the sector was also discovered, hence the need to educate stakeholders on the relevance of data gathering.
Commenting on the findings of the baseline study, he said, “In the film industry, we don’t have statistics. We don’t even know if it is made up of the aging population. Merchandise trade has well-kept statistics but most of the activities are done with the support of services sector.
“Stakeholders must know that until we start understanding and keeping records, we won’t know the enormity of the impact of services on the economy.”
Eteamah encouraged stakeholders in the services sector to attain relevance in the international market by conforming to the national quality infrastructure in their area of expertise.
“The moment you are competitive, you can be traded in the international markets. When we improve on our national quality infrastructure, we can get international accreditation and certification,” he noted.
The Executive Director, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, said that the export of services to other countries could generate jobs, attract investments and diversify the economy.
He reiterated that the current economic realities had made it imperative to diversify the economic base of the country and promote the non-oil export sector.
Awolowo, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Product Development Department, NEPC, Mr. Arnold Jackson, explained that trade in services was an intangible sector of the economy embedded in all merchandise trade.