NEPC: Non-oil sector acceleration key for effective economy diversification

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says it is working with relevant ministries departments and agencies for payment of N124 billion backlog of claims under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme.

The Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) which is an intervention scheme under the National Economic Sustainability plan of the federal government is aimed at accelerating the growth of the non-oil sector to effectively diversify the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said.

Speaking during a one-day sensitization programme on capacity building of stakeholders for some selected products in North West for farmers and Agricultural value chain operators, the executive director/CEO of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, identified good Agricultural practices gap factors and food safety standard certifications required in export business under Export Expansion Facility Program (EEFP).

He said, l to ensure equity and fairness, the EEFP team worked in partnership with FACAN and NACCIMA the regulatory bodies of the value chain operators in designing the roadmap for the selection of the first 20 states as a pilot scheme for the engagement of farmers and other value chain operators in the sensitization and capacity building program under the scheme.

Represented by Mr Raph Ogenyi an assistant director with National Export Office (NEO) Abuja, the executive director said, the carefully selected programme scheduled for the 6 regions in the country was informed by the selection of 10 strategic products to drive the. Implementation of the Zero Oil plan for increased economic growth under the EEFP.

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While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the EEFP intervention in the non-oil sector to expand the SME sector and promote export business to grow the economy in the face of the economic hardship posed by the Covid 19 pandemic.

“The EEFP which is an intervention scheme under the national Economic Sustainability plan of the federal government is aimed at accelerating the growth of the non-oil sector to effectively diversify the Nigerian economy. It is a program designed for one year of implementation under the oversight of an implementation steering committee headed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure Transparency and due process in the overall implementation process.

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“EEFP is to identify and address capacity gaps in both downstream and upstream sectors of the export value chain through training on the adoption of best practices and adherence to food safety standards, Technical Barriers Trade (TBT) for MSMEs, export market access program/export competency development program and certification for some stakeholders to improve the standard of their products for export”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Trade Promotion Advisor (TPA) Kaduna export assistant office Mr Kasim Ahmed represented by Mr Zacham Bayei, (Senior Trade Promotion Officer), Head of Trade Information Department, NEPC Kaduna State Smart Office, said, this program is necessitated by the need to reposition the council in its onerous task of promoting the non-oil products in consonance with the ideals of its corporate objectives in making the non-oil sector a significant contribution to Nigeria’s GDP and facilitating export to promote sustainable inclusive economic growth and development.

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