Export stakeholders Forum: NEPC, ITC make case for Nigerian women entrepreneurs

RELEVANT Nigerian authorities both in the public and private sectors have been admonished to give full support to youths and women in business for active participation in global business.

Ms Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC), an agency of the United Nation, who gave the charge on Thursday, during a media chat in Abuja, said this is another way to internally grow the national economy.

In company of her host, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, Gonzalez, made case for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, saying a new shift to women was urgently needed to leverage on the national economy.

Ms Gonzalez arrived Nigeria on Wednesday for the Export Stakeholders Forum and Exhibition, organised by Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) with support from ITC, already committed to opening the global marketplace one million women entrepreneurs

Lending a supportive voice, Mr Awolowo, said spaces should be created for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, as this is the new trend in international trade, since women are known to be good business managers.

The United Nations envoy speaking further said Nigeria should begin to consolidate on its economy for diversification by creating a value change in Agriculture and ensure quality is maintained.

Ms Gonzalez said distribution channels and active private sector’s participation are the keys to hitting the global markets for a good return to the national economy.

She said the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are to be developed to meet the global standards for exportation of goods, and even for internal consumption.

“These days, it is not all about exportation alone, but goods should also be packaged in a way that it meets the global standards.

“It is good to export and have your goods sold at the international markets, but that also does not discourage importation of goods which cannot be locally produced.

What we are talking about now is not even exportation or importation but “internationalisation of goods, to encourage quality control and competition at the global market,” Gonzalez said.

Contributing further, the NEPC boss, Mr Awolowo, said business owners in Nigeria, most especially women should embrace the ITC’s new window opened for one million women for active participation in global business.

He said Nigerians should take advantage of the zero-oil dependence and leverage on production of goods, which is said is a good way of earning foreign exchange for the country.

“If Nigeria is not producing any good, there will be nothing to export,” hence, the reason, the NEPC boss said women, who are naturally known to be good business managers should actively participate in global business.

“For instance, we can’t be importing tomatoes or other things we can produce in the country, so, this is a clarion call to introduce our women to business and get connected on the international world of business.

“A woman who has a good business will be able to take care of her home without always waiting on her husband, which is good for family development,” Mr Awolowo said, hence the need he charged them to embrace this new opportunity for global business.