NEPC urges SMEs to leverage export financing facility


The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has urged businesses in Sokoto State to collaborate with trade and financial institutions to access export financing fund to accelerate growth of Small and Medium Scale Entreprises (SMEs).

The Executive Director of the Council, Dr Extra Yakusak made the call at one-day workshop for SMEs in Export Financing, on Tuesday in Sokoto.

Yakusak presented a paper titled: ”Accessing Finance for Accelerated Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Growth in Export Business”.

Represented by Yahaya Ahmad-Sakaraiju, NEPC’s Trade Support Adviser in the state, Yakusak said government is determined to increase productivity, competitiveness and performance of the MSMEs.

He said the training was in line with the Export-for-Survival advocacy designed to explore resources for the sustenance of economic growth.

Yakusak underscored the importance of export relevance to the economy and development of MSMEs for increased value-chain in the non-oil export sector.

”The development of any growing economy is reliant on the expansion of non-oil export sector for comparative advantage in the international export trade.

”The development of MSMEs will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a positive and significant impact on innovation and aggregate productivity,” he said.

The NEPC boss called for more stakeholders’ committment towards sustaining the impacts made in supporting non-oil export sector, noting thier contributions would surely improve revenue generation and reduce poverty in the country.

According to him, MSMEs are integral part of the nation and the council core mandate included development of potential of existing exporters for enhanced export value chain.

“We are helping businesses to explore new and emerging markets, access fund through a hollistic study of dynamics.

“This programme will act as catalyst for existing and potential exporters to access fund for their products for the benefit of the country at large,” he said.

Mrs Onyekan Duke, Trade Promotion Officer, NEPC Headquarters, said export financing has been identified as one of the major difficulties businesses faced in the country.

Duke, therefore, led participants to the list of institutions where they could access fund without much payment burden, stressing that government provided opportunities for businesses to access fund at ease.

A Lead Facilitator, Mr Balogun Vincent, Laariba Microfinance Sokoto, also made presentation to expose the participants on application of online platforms to improve thier business capacities, modern business modalities and access to fund.

He urged them to utilise the financing facilities provided by Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and other institutions to boost their businesses.

Alhaji Sani Hamidu, Director Commerce, Sokoto State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, commended NEPC and enjoined participants to utilise the knowledge learnt to enhance their enterprising skills.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 70 MSMEs and exporters attended the exercise. (NAN)

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