The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has pledged to accelerate its efforts at making Nigeria’s exportable brands more competitive in the African market.
Executive Director of the NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said this in Owerri on Friday at a workshop it organised in conjunction with the Export Expansion Facility Programme.
Speaking on the theme : “Role of AfCFTA in the Growth and Development of Intra-African Trade”, Yakusak identified Nigeria as the single largest market in Africa.
Yakusak, who was represented by NEPC’s Trade Promotion Advisor in Imo, Mr Anthony Ajuruchi, said that the NEPC would ensure that Nigerian exporters were adequately prepared for business through partnerships with relevant development partners, local and international.
According to him, a good understanding of laws and treaties of the AfCFTA by Nigeria’s exporters would aid effective access to the African regional market and make Nigerian made goods the pride of the African market.
“It is apt to mention that hard work, credibility and transparency are the hallmark of the export business, hence, the NEPC’s commitment to public enlightenment for improved marketability of our exportable brands.
“We shall continually sustain increased efforts to accelerate competitiveness of Nigerian exportable brands in the AfCFTA market,” he said.
Also Speaking, the Imo Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Simon Ebegbulam restated the state government’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Ebegbulam, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr G. E. Nnah, noted that exportation among other things, created employment, reduced poverty and promoted bilateral relationships.
Also, the Coordinator, Imo Exporters Group, His Royal Highness, Eze George Eke, said that arrangements were in top gear to have the state’s export brands such as palm oil, ginger, tumeric and others in the US market.
He however, urged the Federal Government to reopen the Onne export corridor in Rivers as a way of supporting the AfCFTA and further encouraging ease of exporting Imo brands.
Mr Ben Acho, the representative of NEPC’s legal unit harped on the need for legitimate exportation with due regard for existing legal procedures associated with exports.
This, he said, would make exporters eligible for government’s stimulus plans and export support grants.