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Nigeria’s N50 billion export expansion program gathers momentum – Awolowo



Nigeria’s N50 billion export expansion program gathers momentum – Awolowo

By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Nigeria is poised to boost its non-oil exports by leveraging the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) network of trade promotion organizations (TPOs).

The network, which was recently inaugurated, aims to increase the volume of trade in the region.

Mr. Segun Awolowo, Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, is also the first President of ECOWAS TPOs.

The NEPC has started to reposition the country’s exports through the implementation of its N50 billion Export Expansion Facility (EEFP) program.

The VET is part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), the development and implementation of which is led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The EEFP is expected to significantly increase the volume of non-oil exports to Nigeria, and it is a spin-off of the Zero Oil Plan developed by NEPC and endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In addition to providing financial support to the average Nigerian exporter, the EEFP will result in the establishment of premier warehouses in the country, close to airports where Nigerian products for export would be packaged to globally competitive standards. before their export.

The PSEA, in line with the ESP, aims to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the non-oil export sector, thereby protecting jobs and creating new ones.

Earlier in March, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, launched the EEFP and the first online Grant Management Portal (GMP) for non-oil exports.

While the EEFP is implemented by the NEPC, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the oversight body of the agency and its operations.

The program had expected 500 beneficiaries since its inception, but it has received more than 3,500 grant applications, of which more than 2,000 have been verified after fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

Federal government officials said further details and plans on disbursements to end recipients are awaited.

More so, Adebayo said that in addition to being an intervention to save and create jobs, the program will support resilience by strengthening foreign exchange, diversification, modernization of the Nigerian economy and acceleration of growth. economic and economic support.

Under the EEPF, there are 16 programs approved in the implementation work plan under seven work streams.

The main lines of work are capacity building, emergency response, export aggregation, export inclusion, export trade facilitation, institutional strengthening and market development.

Emergency response aims to help existing exporters respond to shocks caused by COVID-19, while market development involves entering export markets identified as priority product value chain analysis , leveraging the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and other trade treaties.

Given the important role it plays in the growth of the Nigerian economy, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector is the target group for VETE support and the Export Development Fund (EDF). .

At the recent inauguration of the TPO network, Osinbajo said there is a need to expand intra-regional trade in the ECOWAS sub-region, with the opportunities presented by the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. African (AfCFTA).

For his part, Awolowo said the network would work to facilitate ease of trade for MSMEs within the ECOWAS region and Africa in general. (NAA)

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