The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is looking to enhance collaborations with banks to bridge the finance gap for exporters and boost export competitiveness in the country.
Ezra Yakusa, chief executive officer, NEPC made this known at a capacity building programme for banks organised by the council in Abuja on Thursday.
Yakusak said Nigeria was not benefiting maximally from its vast export potential due to issues around the knowledge gap, access to finance, cumbersome procedures and documentation, and poor packaging among others.
“Access to bank’s financial services by exporters is one of the major challenges stifling the smooth growth of non-oil export; This is due to high-interest rates and low disbursement of credit facilities to finance non-oil export trade,” he said.
Consequently, exporters lack the financial muscle required to set up modern export-related industries and ensure the production of high-quality products.
Yakusak said banks were one of the most important institutions in non-oil export trade, adding that without the banks, no formal export trade can be undertaken because the Nigeria export proceeds form also known as NXPs are usually processed by banks.
He said 30 banks participated in the issuance and processing of NXPs forms in 2022 which led to a total export value of $4.8 billion, and expressed optimism that there will be an upsurge of non-oil export activities by banks especially with the current foreign exchange policy.
“We believe that when key stakeholders like bankers, are equipped with the necessary export knowledge and expertise, they would work more efficiently to complement each other towards the promotion of export business in the country,” he said.
He urged banks to create an export-tailored financial structure that offers greater flexibility and resources to support exporters, especially SMEs in order to increase their capacity to export and diversify their export baskets.