• Saturday, December 02, 2023
businessday logo


NEPC, NEXIM to assist MSMEs with new export opportunities

It is time to export rather than import, experts tell Nigerians

Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) are set to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the development of their export opportunities.

“We undertake an export audit, build export readiness competencies, and provide support in getting access to high-quality input, branding, packing, and certification,” Ezra Yakusa, executive director of NEPC said at Access Bank’s Exporters Forum on Wednesday.

“We also facilitate international exposure through sponsorships to available trade fairs, trade missions in collaboration with our strategic partners.”

Yakusa said that about a year ago, a total number of 70 MSMEs sponsored by NEPC received the certification of their products on hazard analysis and critical control points.

“Just five months ago, another batch of 40 exporters received their food and drug administration certificate for their products to access the US market.”

Read also: Business plan proficiency: NEPC moves to close S’South export financing gaps

He said the certification would enable them to compete with similar products from other countries of the world and also stem the problem of rejection of Nigerian goods abroad.

Speaking about NEPC’s promotion of direct assistance to MSMEs, Yakusa said: “The NEPC, in collaboration with a private sector operator, opened the first Nigeria Export Trade House in Cairo, Egypt and in Lome, Togo and recently Nairobi, Kenya.”

Mohammed Awani, head of specialised business at NEXIM, said the products and services offered as direct lending include short-term direct lending facility, medium-term direct lending facility, ECOWAS trade support facility, and small and medium enterprise export facility.

Speaking about NEXIM SME support schemes, Awani said: “The intention of the small and medium enterprise export facility is to stimulate and increase deliberate funding to small and medium enterprises towards broadening Nigeria’s export basket and facilitating industrialisation for value-added exports.”

Awani said the Women and Youth in Export Facility were developed by NEXIM in the recognition of the critical role of women and youths in the SME sector, which contributes significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

He said: “To access NEXIM Bank facilities, the eligibility criteria are creditworthy export companies and co-operative societies incorporated in Nigeria.

“NEXIM Bank facilities are mainly targeted at MSMEs and since inception, the bank has supported over 1,000 MSMEs including start-up projects some of which have grown to be enlisted among the CBN’s list of top 100 exporters.

“We, therefore, seek and welcome partnership opportunities with entrepreneurs and project promoters in identifying and funding viable projects, particularly in the areas of manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals, and services.”