By Gabriel Olawale
CHIEF Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, has observed that small and medium exporters and export regulatory agencies lack export knowledge.
He stated this during a capacity building programme organised by NEPC and the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries, CBI Netherlands.
“Empirical studies have shown that key challenges to exporters, both to the European Union, Africa markets are lack of knowledge, experience and exposure regarding export marketing and management among small and medium exporters and export regulatory agencies,” he said.
Awolowo said such challenges necessitated the Council’s collaboration with CBI to enhance knowledge and implement capacity building as an outcome of needs analysis. “Within the framework of this collaboration, NEPC has decided to focus on three sectors: Sesame seed, cocoa and cashew nut as pilot products with the view to applying same strategies and processes in developing other products. Towards this end, staff of the Council is undergoing a training programme on export marketing and management that would help them provides technical support for Nigerian exporters who wish to export into European Union market,” he said.
Representative of CBI, James Fitzpatrick, said that Nigeria was chosen as a priority country for the Netherlands in view of the business and trade relations of the two countries and in line with the ideals of Zero Oil Plan, apart from Nigeria’s huge market size and rich natural resources.
“Our objective is to train NEPC coaches and a group of objectively selected companies drawn from the sesame seed, cocoa and cashew sub-sectors who are focused to improve the contribution of non-oil export sector to the economy of Nigeria. The emphasis is on training farmers, processors and exporters as a whole, to improve productivity, including establishing a sustainable local processing capacity for the purposes of exports,” he said.