27 January 2014, Lagos – Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) involved in non-oil exports now have a cause to cheer as plans are underway to establish a Pre-shipment Incentive Grants that would stimulate activities in the sector and therefore boost the nation’s non-oil exports.
This was disclosed by the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo while receiving the Chief of Party, USAID/Nigeria Expanded Trade and Transport (NEXTT), Mr. Alf Monaghan in his office, Abuja, recently.
Awolowo, who observed that over the years the Council has focused more on administering post-shipment incentives especially the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), said efforts are now geared towards providing investment opportunities in the sector for SMEs that would guarantee employment and wealth creation through the Export Development Fund (EDF) which is a pre-shipment grant to boost exports.
Given the huge population of Nigerians in some major cities like Johannesburg, London, Atlanta Georgia and Houston Texas, he disclosed that the Council intends to promote the creation of Nigerian Towns in these cities to facilitate the exports of local products and foods by Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Responding, Mr. Monaghan implored the Council to open-up Trade offices in some countries who are major importers of Nigeria’s products as it would help in facilitating trade between such countries and Nigeria.
He noted that part of the problem of promoting Nigerian exports abroad is inadequate funding of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions to drive the trade and investment programmes of the Government, coupled with the fact that the Commercial Attaches were not sufficiently trained to handle trade and investment matters as they were more concerned with political and diplomatic issues.
In his response, Mr. Awolowo disclosed that plans are underway to establish Regional Trade and Investment Offices in some major cities of the world including Brazil, London, United States of America (USA) and the Middle East.
– Yemi Akinsuyi, This Day