• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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NEPC, SMEDAN seal deal to boost visibility of Nigerian goods in West Africa

NEPC, SMEDAN seal deal to boost visibility of Nigerian goods in West Africa

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the first West African MSME (WAMSME) Export Opportunities Exhibition.

Ezra Yakusak, executive director/CEO of NEPC, said described the MoU as a strategic collaboration aimed at enhancing the visibility of Made-in-Nigeria goods and services within West Africa and the rest of the market.

“Considering the current economic reality of the country occasioned by dwindling price of oil in the global market, there is no auspicious time than now to aggressively promote the non-oil sector more as a way of salvaging our nation’s ailing economy,” Yakusak said.

“We are all aware of the fact that these are indeed not the best of times for local industries in our country. We at the NEPC firmly believe if we are serious about the diversification of the economy, one vital approach would be to support the existing SMEs and assist in reviving local ailing industries. The time has come for us to encourage the development of local industries, promote patronage for locally made products and also create international market access for them.

“It is also pertinent to note here that Nigeria is a huge market and a trade hub that cannot be ignored by international business community and investors. Therefore, Nigeria MSMEs should also take advantage of every available step to package their products in line with international standard and take advantage of every global platform to showcase such products to boost its acceptability worldwide,” he further said.

Read also: NEPC moves to tackle export supply chain constraints

Yakusak expressed optimism that the initiative will help in flooding the West African and African market at large with quality Made-in-Nigeria product and in turn increase forex inflow into the Nigerian economy.

“This has become necessary in view of the take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. We cannot fold our arms and wait until our market is taken over by foreign products before penetrating their markets with our products. We must leverage on our comparative advantage of Made-in-Nigeria products in the African market, especially the West African Region,” he added.

Also speaking, the DG of SMEDAN, Wale Fasanya, said the collaboration which was the first of its kind had the vision of going beyond the West African market to infiltrate the global market.

“As an agency that facilitates the development of MSMEs in Nigeria, we will ensure the implementation of this MOU in driving export of made in Nigerian goods by supporting them with the necessary information and logistics they require,” he said.