• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Bello charges STEP graduates to get ready for export

Bello charges STEP graduates to get ready for export

Shimite Bello, the executive assistant to Delta State governor and coordinator, Delta-UNIDO Centre and Export Initiatives, has charged graduates of the state’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), to use their fashion skills to produce world-class products that could be exported to African countries and globally.

Bello gave the charge during a one-day Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT), organised for the 250 beneficiaries in fashion design and tailoring, by the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau recently.

The beneficiaries are graduands of the 2020/2021 cycle of STEP who just rounded off their seven-month skills training that ended with the EBMT.

“By God’s grace, we’ll start exporting to the African market from February 2022 because our President, Muhammadu Buhari signed a trade agreement that gives you access to 1.3 billion people in Africa and the market is huge.

Fashion design and tailoring are also a huge part of that market.

Now, everybody in the world or in Africa is hoping that Nigeria will be where they’ll sell their products just as some other African countries are ready to dominate the market with their own products”, she disclosed.

She stressed the need for the STEPrenuers to be part of those that would dominate the market with their made-in-Nigerian product and also make money from export.

“Though we’ve not started exporting, some people have already started making hard currency through export.

Read also: Delta empowers STEPrenuers with starter packs

Whether you are ready or not, on January 1, 2022, the trade is going to begin. Fifty-four out of 55 countries have signed and on January 1, 2022, they would start flooding the market”, she stated.

While urging them to get ready for the market, she said “we will need at least four million tailors to meet the market demand. In fact, even four million will not solve for 1.3 billion people.”

She advised them to aim at sewing into the market as the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has also signed into the African Free Continental Trade (AfCFTA) agreement.

“Fashion is something Governor Okowa ha confidence that Delta fashion is up to the task but he cannot sew even an apron. So, it is you people that he’s talking about and I pray that you don’t disappoint him.”

She encouraged them to know that market to sell their products is not the problem but their own level of creativity.

In an interview with BusinessDay, Tamaralayefa Luwatimi, a STEPrenuer (Burutu LGA) and a graduate of economics education, Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, stated her readiness to use the opportunity provided by the training to improve her finances and also contribute to the economic development of the state and nation.

Also, another STEPrenuer, Uvwie Jean (Uvwie LGA) was elated at the experience acquired from the training and commended the state government for the youth programmes which she said were already transforming the lives of Delta youths.