The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is a governmental agency that looks out for ways to promote the export of Nigerian products. Through its efforts, the Federal Government had assisted companies with the necessary certification to penetrate the global market.
Due to the vigorous efforts of the NEPC and indigenous exporters, local products such as palm kernel shells, breadfruit, cashew nuts, bitter kola, melon (egusi), ogbono, vegetables, ogiri (castor oil) uziza, ofor, and crayfish, have gone international.
In 2021, the federal government, through NEPC, administered grants to small and medium scale enterprises and performing exporters under the Export Expansion Facility Programme, and facilitated the certification of export companies.
Different stakeholders have come out to commend NEPC for its different initiatives at promoting ‘Naija’. Its recent efforts at promoting non-oil products, though reportedly underplayed by the media, has huge significance to the Naira’s survival. Nigeria’s overreliance on oil has done more harm than good for economic development.
Part of its efforts is beaming its searchlight on the creative industry, which has a matter of fact holds enormous potential for the nation’s economy. In fact, the sector could jump-start the economy.
The Agency has since woken up to other non-oil sectors, which could generate income. The export of non-oil products is the survival line of the Nigerian economy.
Around March 2022, NEPC said Nigeria’s non-oil export products have increased by 56 percent, amounting to $3.45 billion in 2021.
The council had announced a N50 billion export expansion facility programme (EEFP) as part of the economic sustainability plan last year.
Experts have underscored the need for Nigeria to harness its abundant human and material resources to defeat the poverty plaguing the country. This, the Agency is making concerted efforts towards.
Non-oil exports have become the only means of survival for Nigeria as a nation, hence the need to partner with you journalists in educating the public and taking the activities of the Council to the grassroots.
The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, has on different occasions called on Nigerians to embrace the export of made in Nigeria products to boost the country’s economy, create jobs and attract Foreign Direct Investments.
In fact, the 2021 record is nothing compared to the $2.21 billion generated in 2020. The council was able to achieve the feat as a result of the implementation of its current mantra, “Export for Survival”.
Reports have it that he also reaffirms that exporting Nigerian products is the key to economic survival, as it has become an emergency for Nigerians to embrace the export of non-oil products.
“NEPC is working assiduously to create an enabling environment for exporters, the Council is currently working on the enactment of enabling laws to drive export. The Council would also embark on the sensitisation of Nigerians across the country on the importance of export for national development,” Dr Yakusak was quoted.
In furtherance to promoting its non-oil export efforts, recently, in a move to boost Nigeria’s economy and attract Foreign Direct Investments, NEPC launched its maiden National Conference on non-oil export.
The conference was themed: “Export for Survival: Optimizing Nigeria’s Non-oil Export Potentials”, held from 26th-27th April, 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The event serves as a platform for stakeholders in the non-oil export sector to ventilate ideas and viewpoints on current and emerging issues affecting non-oil export.
This is the way to go, as the conference would also articulate a harmonized position for achieving a sustainable non-oil export performance.
According to him, “we intend to also showcase the export potentials of Nigeria by exhibiting various non-oil exportable products at the event, this will be done side by side at the Conference.”
Topical issues such as Emerging issues disrupting Nigeria’s non-oil export and innovative Solutions, Sustainable Market Access for Nigerian Non-oil Export, Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Effective Trade Facilitation, just to mention a few, were lined up for the event.
The NEPC boss said that exporters would be encouraged during the conference to scale up productions for those affected by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The event which had the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the Special Guest of Honour, also had him declare the event open.
Exporters in the nation must be lauded for manufacturing products worth over $2.3 million from 2016 to 2021 and exporting the same to Poland, US, Dubai, Italy and Australia.
To this end, it is pertinent that media practitioners prioritise publicity about the exportation of non-oil products, as a means of marketing Nigeria’s indigenous products at the international level and diversifying her economy for survival.
NEPC under the leadership of Ezra Yakusak has been working assiduously with other relevant government institutions handling the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to ensure seamless implementation and gainful participation in the export industry.
NEPC must intensify its efforts at organizing workshops to enlighten exporters in the country on seamless procedures for exportation and the Ease of Doing Business policy of the government.
Gladly, it was learnt that NEPC, through its one-state-one-product initiative, collaborated with state governments to develop products with comparative advantage for export as part of the federal government’s economic recovery and growth plan. This is the way to go!
State Governments, on the other hand, need to provide the enabling business environment for NEPC’s activities and put in more support. This is a collaborative effort, we all must tackle.