By NAN

No fewer than 1,105 companies, 2,000 farmers, 500 women, 100 youths, and many others have benefited from the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) within 12 months.

Dr. Ezra Yakusak, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), disclosed this while declaring open the NEPC-EEFP Stakeholders’ interactive session on Monday in Abuja.

He said the EEFP afforded the NEPC additional capacity to support existing and aspiring exporters while executing programmes that would have a lasting impact on the export sector.

According to him, through the instrumentality of the EEFP, tremendous impact has been made in the non-oil export sector.

“1,105 companies, 2,000 farmers, 500 women, 100 youths, 281 companies, 84 women-owned companies, 13 common facility and human capital development centres, eight Domestic Export Warehouses and five Cold Storage facilities, among others, have benefited from the EEFP.

“They benefited from the programme through various trainings and grants. I also appreciate my predecessor, Mr Olusegun Awololo, who spent so much time to make the EEFP a success,’’ Yakusak said.

“I specially thank the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Chairman and members of the Steering Committee for the commitment and direction provided for the programme.

“The tenure of the Consultant of the programme formally comes to an end, however, the NEPC will continue to monitor, supervise, evaluate and implement outstanding aspect of the EEFP.

“This will be in line with its core objectives of driving sustainable growth of Nigeria’s non-oil export, leveraging on its six regional and 30 smart offices across the country,’’ Yakusak said.

The Programme Coordinator of EEFP, Maureen Ideozu, during her graphical programme presentation, said the EEFP is a one-year programme under the Economic Sustainability Plan.

“The seven-work streams of the programme include Market Development, Capacity Building, Emergency Intervention, Export Aggregation, Export inclusion, Export Trade Facilitation and Institutional Strengthening.

“The essence of all those is to impact on job creation, enhance value of Non-Oil Export in dollars and Non-oil GDP in percentage.

“The application for grants were made on Grant Management System to support implementation of key activities,’’ Ideozu said.

Speaking, Mr Udeh Nduka, the Managing Director of Export and Sell Nigeria Ltd., said the programmes has remarkably done so well.

According to him, the EEFP grant has helped his company to train over 1,000 businesses on export, adding that about 50 Nigerian companies now sell through Amazon, the biggest American online market.

Nduka, however, said that the one-year life span of the EEFP is too short to impact positively on the millions of business in the country.

He recommended that the programme should be extended to three years to impact positively on more businesses in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event brought together stakeholders and business owners from across the country and other African countries. (NAN)

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