Nigerian Export Promotion Council
By Jude Okwe
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) wants export to surpass import, since, according to it, export business is central to the growth of the economy and impacts positively on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Executive director and chief executive of the Council, Mr. David Adulugba, made the plea in Calabar, Cross River State on the occasion of the Export Enlightenment Programme. He explained that no nation can survive on consumer status only, noting that most developing countries of the world have repositioned their export sectors for prosperity.
“It is a proven fact that export business is critical to a nation’s health as it impacts positively on the GDP. This is because it catalyses economic growth; creates a strong base for technological development; encourage economic specialisation; and ultimately high rate of investment”, he said.
He said the council was working towards creating awareness on export culture with a view to unlocking the export potentials available in both Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
According to him, there was need for the nation to diversify from the monoculture product of crude oil export for sustainable economic development of the country, stressing that the council has evolved a number of interventionist initiatives aimed at boosting export development in the country.
The council has accordingly embarked on New Exporter Development Project (NEPD), which includes the training of 60 firms nationwide on export.
Adulugba said the objective was to assist SMEs with limited export experience to develop their skills on how to penetrate markets abroad and that Uyo zonal office was chosen for the NEDP.
“Plans have also been concluded for NEPC Uyo zonal office to embark on a capacity building project to train, equip and engage artisans in raffia, crafts and related products. This is targeted at both youth and women in a bid to develop their skills in raffia and allied products for exports”, he said.
Adulugba, represented by the Controller, Uyo zonal office, Mr. George Enyiekpon, revealed that NEPC had approved the establishment of a pilot centre for smoked fish processing for export under Uyo zonal office coverage.
“The concept was to make those centres referral processing units for private sector potential processing of smoked fish for export. NEPC had embarked on Women-in-Export Development Programmes in order to address gender related issues on trade practices in non-oil export.
“This is in line with Federal Government’s fulfillment of MDG Number 3 target, which underscores the need to reduce gender disparity and empowerment of women in export trade”, he said.
Adulugba called on the Cross River Government to properly fund the State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP) which is domiciled in the State’s Investment Bureau. “I would like to appeal to the state government to resuscitate, inaugurate and properly fund SCEP in order to enable it appropriately discharge its statutory responsibility”, he said.