The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) held a one-day workshop in Jos on Monday to sensitise potential exporters on ways of marketing Nigeria’s non-oil products in foreign markets.
Declaring the workshop open, Mrs Angela Uche-Echieh, an official of the NEPC, said it was part of its mandate to sensitise exporters and prospective exporters.
She represented Dr Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NEPC at the workshop
Uche-Echieh added that the workshop also aimed at educating participants on the various benefits of adopting distinct features of satisfying specific needs of target markets.
“This workshop is put together because the Council is mindful of the various challenges exporters face in having access to quality markets in the United States, the EU and the United Kingdom.
“We are here to sensitise exporters and prospective ones on how they can access our services to boost their export.
“This is an avenue to engage exporters on the ways to diversify their activities to penetrate and compete favourably with foreign counterparts in the international market,’’ she said.
Uche-Echieh noted that the distortion of global businesses and economics by COVID-19 meant that there was the need to increase non-oil earnings.
She added that the NEPC, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, had been agitating for the full implementation of zero-oil plan that would build the economy to depend less crude oil revenue.
In an address of welcome, Mrs Sarah Temlong, an official of the North Central Zone of the NEPC, described the workshop as timely.
She represented Mr Samson Idowu the North Central Coordinator of the Council at the workshop.
Temlong said that penetrating global markets involved early research, setting of goals and strategic planning as well as implementation.
“Producers and manufacturers must ensure that their products meet international requirements of health, safety, packaging and labelling, import regulation, and environmental adaptability, technical and marketing standards.
“It is in the light of this that the Council organised this workshop to increase the awareness of exporters on the relevance of developing products and services to favourably compete in the international markets,’’ she said.
Presenting a paper on the theme of the workshop, Mr Ofon Udofia, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Export Operation and Management, identified factors inhibiting export of goods and services.
He said they included absence of quality product information to consumers, cumbersomeness of administrative procedures, lack of certification of products and irregular supply and instability of products.
Udofia noted, however, that certification, proper packaging and labelling remained some of the ways to protect and guarantee production and sustainable supply.