The Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr Olusegun Awolowo said supply chain management was critical to the operational activities of Nigerian exporters, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Awolowo, who was a keynote speaker on Wednesday at a webinar themed: “Fixing the Broken Supply Chain: Post COVID-19 Survival Strategies for Non-Oil Exporters,” said the webinar which was organised by The Commerce Africa magazine, a financial intelligence magazine, provided a veritable platform as stakeholders in the sector, to fashion out strategies that would help fix the broken supply chain for exporters post COVID-19.
Citing statistics, the NEPC’s CEO noted that reports revealed that globally, the supply chain management market size was valued at $15.85 billion in 2019, and was projected to reach $37.41 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027 while in “Nigeria it currently stands at N250 billion.”
Awolowo, said: “Given the critical role of supply chain management in facilitating trade, I must say that there is no better time to discuss the impact of supply chain management on business operations in Nigeria than now especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added that “it is pivotal to managing an organisation’s demand and supply networks. It is in this light that the Council, over the years, continue to support the exporting community through capacity building programmes like packaging, quality and standards among others.”
Awolowo, who was represented by the Director, Policy and Strategy, Mrs Obidike Evelyn, listed some of the export facilitation and intervention programmes/projects of the NEPC under his watch as include:
“Domestic Export Warehouse Aggregation Centres – To reduce the cost of doing business by MSMEs.
“Establishment of an Export Trading Company – To expand the volume and value of export transactions.
“Anchor Borrower Programme for Exporters – To support major off-takers from MSMEs for export as boost production of selected products for export.
“Establishment of a Trade Warehouse in Lome, Togo – To provide a permanent avenue where manufactured goods can be made available and marketed to the ECOWAS market.
Grassroot Export Development (on-going) – Targeted at 36 offices (Per State) so far 32 offices covered.
“Automation of Exporter Registration (on-going) – The aim is to have paperless registration by 2021.
“Automation of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) on–going – The aim is to have contactless processing of EEG claims and development of a portal.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of The Commerce Africa magazine which is a flagship publication of Toastmasters Communication, Mr Babajide Iletogun, told the participants that the webinar was organised to bring stakeholders together to share ideas and information on the best approach to profitably navigate the current challenges in the non-oil export market occasioned by coronavirus pandemic.
According to Babajide, The Commerce Africa magazine was determined to support the stakeholders in the Industry, Trade and Investment sectors of Africa through responsible journalism, open conversations on critical export and trade issues and human capacity building in order to accelerate the attainment of industrilization the Continent is yearning.
The facilitators at the webinar include a business management strategist, Prof. Ali Muhammad Garba, an expert in trade and supply chain management, Dr. Obiora Madu, and Dr. Olumuyiwa Alaba, a trade policy development expert. (Commercial Africa magazine)