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Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the nation’s non-oil export promoter, says the country must fully imbibe export culture to build up and sustain a healthy economy.
Olusegun Awolowo, executive secretary/CEO, NEPC, made the observation in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, at a-day export clinic organised by the Aba Smart office of the Council, for existing and intended non-oil exporters.
The NEPC boss, who was represented at the forum by Relicx Shiolban, trade promotion advisor, Aba Smart office of NEPC, observed that apart from petroleum Nigeria was blessed with numerous resources, which had remained largely unexploited, undeveloped and untapped for the African and the global markets.
According to him, for Nigeria to attain any meaningful level of development and sustain infrastructural development at a level that will continue to stimulate export oriented investments, it must of necessity increase its volume of exports.
He observed that majority of the newly registered exporters were not aware of the Council’s programmes and activities, meant to assist them in pursuit of their export business, a development he observed impacted negatively on knowledge of the teaming business community, especially in the non-oil export sector and casting a bad image on the Council.
“It is in light of the above that the programme is tagged, “Export Clinic” with a view to educating and enlightening the newly registered exporters on the activities of the Council, which include dissemination of information on the activities of the council, improving the knowledge of the exporters, enhancing credibility and efficiency of the Council and enhance productivity and services delivery.
He explained that the council over the years had employed a number of promotional strategies aimed at motivating Nigerian exporters/potential exporters to do just this.
“We have however not been ignorant of the numerous challenges and difficulties faced by exporters in their bid to export. However the hosting of this Export Clinic therefore, is a strategy to tutor in a very practical way, young/potential exporters and to prop them to grow to enviable heights in their export business as well as build up their export skills,” he said.
Ukachi Nwaojigba, head, trade information, NEPC, Aba Smart Office, in her paper titled, “Understanding export trade,” stated that diversifying the economy to the non-oil exports sector was imperative, following the prevailing economic reality of Nigeria and the dwindling oil revenue.
In her words, “the current poor world oil prices calls for diversification of Nigeria’s non-oil export sector to generate the required foreign exchange earnings to boost the domestic economy.”
She explained that the export support programme of the NEPC aims at increasing the competitiveness power of the Nigerian export commodities and manufacturing in the international market, through the provision of production and processing, infrastructure, special and distinct incentive scheme at the various levels of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.
According to Nwaojigba, through export, Nigeria offers a wide range of goods and services to the international market, which includes agricultural produce, semi –processed, manufactured goods, solid minerals, information communication technology (ICT) and other services.