Forex: NEPC targets over 100 women in export

THE Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said on Tuesday that it is targeting a minimum of 100 exportable products from Ogun State, towards reducing the nation’s foreign exchange rate.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, gave the figure in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Tuesday, at a day workshop on women in export with the theme “Opportunities in the Shetrade Platform”.

He disclosed that the programme is in tandem with Nigeria’s Zero Oil Plan Initiative, an integral component of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

It would be recalled that the SheTrades initiative was launched in July 2016 with the commitment to bring 200,000 women to the global market, as part of the broader UN–Goal of connecting one million women to the international marketplace by 2020.

Awolowo who was represented by council’s Regional Controller (Southwest), Mr Babatunde Faleke, said the quest led to the training of women entrepreneurs in the state on how to fully participate and benefit from the global market and value chain.

He said, “The landscape shows that Ogun State is ready for export but they are not on the scale that they are supposed to be.

“That is why I want to encourage you (participants) to generate foreign exchange by engaging in the export business and by doing this, you won’t even know the exchange rate”.

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The NEPC boss, however, said the Council would also ensure that only products that meet the required international standard are exported out of the country.

The council’s Trade Promotional Adviser, Abeokuta Smart Office, Mr Ganiyu Ahmid Gbolagade, said the globalization phenomenon had made it imperative that for a country to remain economically relevant in the comity of nations, it must articulate policies and programmes that support its export business.

According to him, the Shetrade platform would provide information on maximising and harnessing the potential of Nigerian women entrepreneurs on export Ogun State.

He added that the workshop aimed at promoting women interest the export trade, identify exportable products with export potential and to increase Nigeria gender participation in export business in Nigeria.

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“In addition, the Council intend to use the workshop to identify women groups and products that could be assisted to international market under the International Trade Centre ‘Shetrade’ programme,” Gbagade added.

The State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru, vowed that the state government would continue to provide the enabling environment for seminars that would empower the people with the required knowledge to identify and take full advantage of opportunities that abound in the export trade.