By Miriam Humbe
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained 62 persons in the Zero to Export Capacity Building Programme.
Executive Director/CEO of NEPC Mr Olusegun Awolowo who made this known at the Batch 5 Zero to Export graduation ceremony in Abuja said the Zero to Export programme is an effective tool of introducing companies into the export business.
According to him, the NEPC recognized the fact that many companies desired to go into the export business but lack the capacity and skill to embark on the business successfully.
The Director General who was represented by the Director Product Development in the ministry Mr William Ezeagu said that the Zero to Export Programme had been part of the Council’s efforts to reposition the non-oil sector, enforcing the narrative of the Council through job creation and inclusive growth – thereby making it a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.
He said “There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that non-oil export sector plays in the present administration’s effort at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from over reliance on oil as its main stay, especially with incessant fluctuations in oil prices”.
He assured the graduates that “NEPC will continue to encourage Nigerians to take advantage of the diversification process of the Federal Government through the promotion of non-oil export activities”.
He also announced a provision of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000) to the Co-operative Society formed by participants of the graduating batch.
He said it is expected to serve as a seed capital to enhance smooth take-off of the Co-operative Society in engaging in export business.
He urged graduates to take the opportunity of having been trained seriously to strive to sustain the programme by involving in actual export business.
“This way the huge investments in material and resources deplored by the Council will be justified.
“The Zero to Export initiative is one of the flagship programmes of the Council that focuses on creating new generation of Nigerian exporters through practical and theoretical training of business executives, bankers, Civil Servants, unemployed graduates and even retired citizens with interest in export business.
“The programme is anchored on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement led by the Consultant Mr Kola Awe of EPT Logistics International Limited.
“So far the programme has trained and graduated over 200 trainees from the Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja centres. Most of the trainees have formed registered Cooperatives, and are already exporting.
“Apart from job creation, it is hoped that the programme would obviously bring about a high value addition to non-oil products and services in the country at a time when the nation needs to revive its manufacturing, agricultural and industrial sectors,” he said.