N50 BILLION EXPORT EXPANSION FACILITY PROGRAMME TO BOOST EXPORTS TO WEST AFRICA – NEPC
The N50 Billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) will boost Nigeria’s non-oil exports to West Africa, building on ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) network. This was disclosed by Mr. Segun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, and President of the ECOWAS TPOs, a scheme towards increasing the volume of trade in West Africa, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The NEPC boss stated that the scheme, a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) which was launched to boost non-oil exports in Nigeria, will also “support resilience in shoring up foreign exchange, diversification, modernisation of Nigeria’s economy and acceleration of economic growth and economic support.” He disclosed that there are 16 programmes as approved in the implementation work plan under seven work streams, including Capacity Building, Emergency Interventions, Export Aggregation, Export Inclusion, Export Trade facilitation, Institutional Strengthening and Market Development.
He cited that the Emergency Intervention is to support existing exporters in responding to shocks caused by COVID-19, while Market Development involves penetrating identified export markets as value chain analysis for priority products, leveraging Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). Mr. Awolowo added that the Trade Promotion Organisations Network would “work towards facilitating the ease of trade for MSMEs within the ECOWAS region and Africa in general”.
What you should know
The EEFP aims to protect export businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard jobs and de-risk the economy from shocks like COVID. Its primary goal is to increase Nigeria’s export capacity in the near term and its export volumes in the medium term. It was inaugurated by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo in March including Nigeria’s first online Grant Management Portal (GMP) for non-oil exports.
While the EEFP is being implemented by the NEPC, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the supervisory body over the agency and its operations. The programme anticipated 500 beneficiaries since the inauguration but it has received more than 3,500 applications for the grant, out of which more than 2,000 were verified after meeting the eligibility criteria.