The Federal Government has emphasized the need for Nigerians to embrace export as the only means of survival as a nation, owing to the opportunities embedded in the non-oil sector.
Speaking to newsmen at a retreat organized for Commerce and Industry Correspondents by the council, with the theme “Diversification of the Economy: The Role of NEPC”, the Executive Director, NEPC , Ezra Yakusak said it was imperative to promote the “Export4Survival” campaign for all Nigerians to realize the urgency of engaging in non-oil export trade as a viable means of economic growth for the country.
Yakasuk saw the need for Nigerians to see non-oil export as a viable means of economic growth, poverty alleviation, industrial development and means of boosting the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
According to the Council’s CEO, the retreat provides a veritable platform for informing the public of the council’s resolve to change the narratives of the non-oil sector as the tonic for rejuvenating the nation’s fragile economy.
He said the retreat also has the propensity in building brand awareness, boost credibility of the council’s programmes and activities as well as generate the desired traffic to all its social media handles.
“There is no doubt that the theme of this retreat complements the Council’s strategic communications which seeks to position the Council as a unique brand that aims to create a set of positive perceptions that not only represents what we stand for – “To spearhead the diversification of the Nigerian Economy by expanding and increasing non-oil exports for sustainable and inclusive growth”, but also the essence of what will be delivered or experienced by the exporting community and discerning public.” the NEPC Boss said.
Speaking at the event, NEPC’s Deputy Director, International Export Office Department of Council, Peter Njoku, revealed that 3 Export Trade Houses out of the 7 proposed to be established in different centres around the world to promote diversification of Nigeria’s non-oil export base, has taken off .
The Export Trade Houses(ETH) established in Cairo, Nairobi and Lome are part of the Nigerian Export Processing Council’s efforts aimed at facilitating export and creating international market for made in Nigeria products.
Njoku said the remaining 4 Trade Houses expected to be established in Hunan in China, Ottawa in Canada, Saudi Arabia and and Johannesburg in South Africa are still in the offing and will soon be launched.
The Export Trade House is an initiative of the council to have a central location where Made-in Nigeria products can be shipped, displayed and distributed to different parts of the world.
According to Njoku the ETH will create international market for locally produced products in the regions, hence facilitating export for Nigeria and attracting investors for the benefit of the nation and it’s people.
The Assistant Director, Trade Information, Aminu Bakin-Kasuwa, in his presentation harped on the need for Nigeria to diversify from producing one or singular agricultural product to enhance the acceptability of products in the international market.
According to Barkin-Kasuwa, “In diversifying the economy, Nigeria itself, even the agriculture itself has to be diversified. We need to change from producing one particular food”.
On his part, the Assistant Director, National Export office, Olu Ikulajolu, urged State governments to key into the “one state one product initiative” for enhanced revenue inflow.
He however revealed that the NEPC is already working with states to constitute a committee to workout modalities for the success of the initiative.
For inclusivity and to ensure anyone is not left out of the export opportunities, Ikulajolu announced that the Council’s Youth Export Development programme, officially launched in January 2020 has recorded great success, adding that the programme has trained over 14,000 youths under the YED programme since inception.
Meanwhile, the Director Product Development, Evelyn Obidike, disclosed that the council is working on value addition to ensure the seamless export of Nigerian products such as Sesame seeds to Japan and smoked fish to the E.U and America.
Obidike said the issue of rejection of agricultural products from Nigeria by some International countries is currently being addressed by stakeholders involved to ensure all the rejected products gets back to the market.