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Nigeria’s non-oil export products must be boosted, to make them globally competitive, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has pledged.
NEPC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, who revealed this over the weekend during the commissioning of the Lelook Bags Academy in Abuja, said Nigeria has a large population of young, energetic, resourceful, skilful and ready to contribute to the construction. a strong and prosperous economy,
He noted that the major challenge to this was the weak capacity to galvanize young people into productive ventures for economic development.
“The Nigerian Export Promotion Council will continue to support its outreach to SMEs and other relevant players in the non-oil export ecosystem in pursuit of our vision of making the world a market for Nigerian non-oil products,” did he declare.
According to him, the Lelook Academy, which was set up to teach bag-making techniques, especially to women, would fill the skills gap by providing Nigerians with the opportunity to develop their skills and adopt an innovative approach in production. quality bags. for the domestic market and, above all, for export.
Yakusak further said that the project is important to NEPC as it demonstrates how the agency’s interventions have built and transformed a small business into an export-oriented one.
“Interestingly, NEPC identified Lelook early on. The Council has invested heavily in this by participating in export readiness assessment sessions, product development and adaptation, particularly in packaging and labeling under the NEPC -ITC programs -SheTrades.
“The lessons learned from these programs have enabled Lelook brands and labels to successfully compete and break into niche export markets overseas.
“You may also need to know that Lelook has been one of the SMEs that have participated in trade shows run and sponsored by NEPC, such as Magic Show, New York Gift Show, Inter-African Show in Egypt and in South Africa and several other matchmaking and trade shows.
“His labels were in high demand at the Expo 2020 Dubai which had just ended,” he noted.
Nigeria earned $45.56 billion in crude and non-oil oil in 2021, according to Foreign Trade Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics. But crude oil accounted for more than 76.22% of that amount, while non-oil accounted for 23.78%.
However, much of the $34.72 billion earned from crude oil was spent refining the product overseas – due to the lack of refineries locally. Non-oil exports were about $10.836 billion. Emerging markets such as India, Vietnam and Bangladesh fared much better.
The founder of the Lelook Academy, Ms. Chinwe Florence Ezenwa, said the aim of the academy was to adhere to the federal government’s goal of diversifying the Nigerian economy and promoting the country’s non-oil exports.
“Having spent more than 35 years in the sector, I am convinced of how to make a difference. Everywhere else it’s referred to as job skills, but here it’s specifically referred to as bag-making skills. We believed that we had to raise people, especially women, with skills as Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.