By Ossom Raphael
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has again stated its commitment to reposition the non-oil sector as a mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.
According to Dr Ezra Yakusak, Executive Director of NEPC, what matters most presently is the need to promote the “Export4Survival” campaign which is a patriotic call for all Nigerians to realize the urgency of engaging in non-oil export trade as a viable means of economic growth, poeverty allieviation, industrial development and boosting our foreign exchange earnings.
Dr. Yakusak, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja during a media retreat organised by the Council for Commerce and Industry Correspondents of Nigeria (CICAN).
Ezra said the retreat with the theme : “Diversification of the Economy: The role of NEPC”, was organised as part of the Council’s media relations with a view to deepening knowledge and understanding of the agency’s mandate respeonsible for the development and promotion of non-oil export.
He said, “This mandate, as you are aware, is key to realising the economic objectives of the present administration, which is targeted at diversifying the economy from a monolithic to a robust economy.
“There is no doubt that the theme of this retreat, “Diversification of the Economy: The Role of NEPC,” complements the Council’s strategic communications which seek to position the Council as a unique brand that aims to create a set of positive perceptions that not only represents what we stand for – ‘To spearhead the diversification of the Nigerian Economy by expanding and increasing non-oil exports for sustainable and inclusive growth’, but also the essence of what will be delivered or experienced by the exporting community and discerning public.
He challenged the media to drum up more support on programmes and programmes aimed at ensuring that various products being produced in the country are fully embraced in the international market.
“As conveyors of information, the media has a crirical role to play in not just promoting NEPC activties and programmes but also creating awareness of the opportunities in the non-oil sector and sensitizing the exporting community and the general public on the need to embrace export as our only means of survival as a nation.
“Therefore, as information and communication professional, you have a great responsibility to set the agenda for national conversation towards issues that are critical to the well-being of the citzenry,” Ezra said.
Also speaking, Mrs. Evelyn Obidike, Director, Product Development, NEPC, explained the need for value addition on Nigeria’s products and services, saying the Council was working with relevant agencies of government to develop new products such as avocado, groundnut cake, groundnut oil, Shea among others.
Obidike noted that the issues of proper packaging and labelling has been the barrier to Nigeria’s products in the export markets, expressing optimism that with the recent move of the Federal Government to finding a lasting solution to Nigeria’s agro export reject, the challenge would be overcome.
On his part, Mr. Peter Njoku, Deputy Director, International Export Office, NEPC, said the Department has embarked on market research, and trade missions, and engaged in multi-lateral and bilateral relations aimed at boosting Nigeria’s export.
He advised exporters to ensure that they meet the standards and requirements of international buyers before shipping their products abroad.
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