Manufacturers’ Unpaid Export Grants Hit N1.29tn

The Federal government owes exporters N1.29tn in outstanding export expansion grant for three years.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group made this known on Thursday during the third Annual General Meeting of the group.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the Chairman, MANEG, Ede Dafinone, explained that only N197bn had been approved for payment by the National Assembly through Promissory Notes issued by the Debt Management Office.

This amount, according to him, represented 17 per cent of the total grant to be paid to exporters for 2017 EEG.

Already, he said three batches of the N197bn Promissory Notes had been issued to exporters through a bidding process.

He said, “The total amount approved by the National Assembly on the issue of promissory notes in respect of export expansion grant came to about N197bn.

“The DMO split that into batches for payment. They are on the third batch now. The aim is to pay the debt amounting to N197bn.

“The full payment for the 2017 EEG has not been paid. Sometime in 2019, the NEPC issued export credit certificates to exporters for the 2017 EEG but at the time, only 17 per cent of the amount had been approved using those export credit certificates.

“The balance of 83 per cent is yet to be paid. We are engaging both the export promotion council and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on their plans to pay the 2017 plus the 2018 and 2019 claims that are completely outstanding.”

He added that an outstanding N130bn grant, which would be paid through promissory notes, had not been approved by the National Assembly.

He said EEG backlogs for 2018 and 2019 amounted to N200bn.

According to him, non-payments of the grants coupled with border closure have led to a decline in non-oil exports.

Dafinone pointed out that delayed payment of the grant had discouraged exporters that sold their products at discounted prices in other countries as it was no longer profitable for them.

He noted that the border closure had affected export trade volume between Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries.

The chairman said the closure of the border had negatively affected genuine exporters, especially those plying Seme border corridor.

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