The Federal Government has inaugurated an Export Mentorship Programme (EMP) to boost the non-oil export sector of the country.
The Executive Director of NEPC, Nonye Ayeni, while inaugurating the programme in Abuja, said the development and promotion of non-oil exports was one of NEPC’s key mandates.
Ayeni said the programme would attach budding exporters to manufacturing exporters for an agreed period for the purpose of learning the rudiments of non-oil export business.
She said that EMP was borne out of the need to enhance the performance of Nigeria’s non-oil export sector.
She said: ‘through provision of a veritable platform for learning, unlearning, and relearning of new exporters from the established ones in a practical manner.
”NEPC has over the years worked proactively to fulfill her mandate through the execution of numerous programmes and activities.
”All with the main aim of diversifying the nation’s economy away from reliance on crude oil as the mono product of the economy.”
Ayeni said the inauguration of EMP was a proactive step at ensuring that skill gaps and other obstacles affecting export performance were reduced to the barest minimum.
She said EMP was unique because it adopted a practical hands-on approach, whereby willing mentees were attached to performing exporters for tutelage on the entire process of non-oil export business.
”The Council’s decision to adopt EMP strategy in raising a new crop of skilled exporters is based on global statistics.
”It shows that less than 10 per cent of beginner exporters can successfully transit from prospective to performing exporters within their first three – five years of establishment.
”The reasons for failure to survive the early stage of business formation are largely attributed to the inability of the beginners to master the complex terrain of export business,” Ayeni said.
The executive director commended the mentors, saying their efforts would enable the trainees to become contributors to the food security index in Nigeria.
She sought for more volunteers in raising a crop of indigenous exporters to create jobs and boost foreign earnings for the nation.
Ayeni also called on other stakeholders to support the exporters, while assuring of NEPC’s continued commitment to the diversification of Nigeria’s export trade.
”We are open to ideas on how to continually improve the EMP we have started. Feel free to reach out as we are partners in progress on this journey,” she said.