The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), on Wednesday, inaugurated the Ebonyi Export Club to assist members to diversify their export base.
Mr Arnold Jackson, the South East Regional Coordinator of the council, said during the club’s inauguration that council was providing opportunities to people especially the youth to concentrate on non-oil economic sectors.
Jackson said that the world was inclining toward a non-oil economy as people were being encouraged to diversify to other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, services and manufacturing among others.
“We are the sole agency of government that sees to the diversification of non-oil exports from Nigeria and this inauguration will enable the members to produce and export their products with international standard.
“We will adequately support and sensitise the members to the potential in export to tally with the club’s slogan of “produce here and consume abroad,” he said.
He tasked the Ebonyi government to identify and promote an economic hub as the former Cross River Government under Mr Donald Duke did with the Calabar carnival and festival.
Dr Stephen Odo, Ebonyi Commissioner for Business Development, said that the inauguration would assist in driving the export initiative of Ebonyi government in collaboration with NEPC and other major stakeholders.
Odo said that the state government since its inception had shown substantial testaments to zero-oil economy targeted toward diversifying its economy through other sectors of comparative advantage.
“The government, firstly, created the ministry of business development to effectively drive this vision especially reviving every sub-field of business and economy activity in the state.
“I implore the organised private sector, intending entrepreneurs, civil servants, political office holders, among others, to exploit the ‘gold’ in the export industry.
“This can be achieved through using appropriate trading strategies that tend to pursue sustainable economic growth and reforms derived from well-researched export development programmes,” he said
Mrs Chinagorom Okereke, President of the Ebonyi Export Club, said that the occasion was also used to confer on Gov. David Umahi the Grand Patron of the club.
Okereke said that the objective of the club is to market/export goods of Ebonyi origin to the world with the agricultural and solid mineral sectors being key areas of interest.
“We have identified cassava, rice, hibiscus sorrel (zobo), sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, cocoyams, soya beans, vegetables, ginger, garlic among others as relevant export products.
“We have also identified lead ore, zinc ore, copper ore, kaolin, clay, charcoal among others for export,” he said.