Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama, has lauded the export-enabling initiatives of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council under the management of the chief executive officer, Mr Segun Awolowo.
The minister who gave the commendation at the weekend when he paid a courtesy call on Awolowo in Abuja, said the NEPC boss is a man of boundless energy, who has made the agency one of the most successful in Nigeria.
According to Onyeama: “The NEPC remains a valued partner of the ministry of foreign affairs and together we are transforming Nigeria in a very concrete and sustainable way. The future of Nigeria lies in trade and NEPC is strategically placed to help Nigeria trade its way from pandemic to prosperity.”
He congratulated Awolowo on his well-deserved appointment as the first ECOWAS trade promotion organisation president and said that he is in a position to use his boundless energy and strategic skill to transform trade in the region, emphasising that regional trade cooperation and integration are very important mechanisms and platforms so the ECOWAS and AfCFTA are game changers.
He commended the minister of foreign affairs’ achievements stating that missions abroad have been instrumental in driving the penetration of Nigerian non-oil products in their respective countries of assignment.
According to the NEPC boss, some of the success stories included the drive for Nigerian Cuisine Beyond Borders, a book by Ambassador Eniola Ajayi, and the display of cassanova hips at the Nigerian embassy in Germany amongst other promotion activities being facilitated by foreign missions abroad.
The zero oil plan is a blueprint for a strategic non-oil export- led economic diversification agenda with an ambitious agenda that targets 20 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP to be attributed to non-oil exports and aimed at the realisation of at least, $30 billion in non-oil exports by 2025 and creating 500,000 additional jobs annually.
While presenting the outstanding export enabler award to the minister, Awolowo stated that the award was in recognition of the collaboration between NEPC and the ministry in driving the diversification of Nigeria’s export portfolio by deepening the ability of Nigeria’s foreign missions to facilitate export commercial diplomacy, collaborate on opening up foreign markets for Nigerian products, providing international trade administration to support Nigerian companies get into target markets and collaborating on setting up the Commercial Service Partner Programme.
The host went further to reel out significant initiatives that the agency is implementing to include: the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP), which forms part of the Federal Government’s two trillion Economic Stability Plan.
Under the EEFP, the NEPC is working to set up Export Trade Houses for MSMEs in African regions and other emerging markets to enable consolidation and warehousing of exportable products in designated markets abroad.
“The Nigerian Diaspora Export Programme (NDEX) With over 140 million people of African origin in the Western Hemisphere and 15 million Nigerians in Diaspora, NDEX is designed to increase the value of non-oil export for national development.