Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) will hold a three-day enlightenment and engagement programme in Asaba, the Delta State capital, for the six states in Nigeria’s South-South.
The programme with the theme ‘Maximising the Export Potentials of the South-South Region for Economic Growth’ will commence on Tuesday, January 28 through Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Host Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is expected to declare it open alongside his colleague governors in the region including Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa-Ibom) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
The programme is in furtherance of NEXIM Bank mandate of promoting the diversification of the Nigerian economy and boosting non-oil exports.
It also seeks to bring together exporters, bankers, policymakers, top government officials and other operators in the non-oil export sector towards highlighting the non-oil export potentials of the South-South region and other pertinent issues that impact the contribution of the region to economic diversification.
Experts dawn from NEXIM Bank, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Incentive Risk-Based System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Nigerian Customs Service, National Agency for Food & Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) are expected to deliver lectures on the overall theme.
Also to speak at the event are various banking institutions led by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Development Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Agriculture and the Bank of Industry Exporters and prospective exporters will also have the opportunity to display their products at the exhibition stalls that will be provided, while various capacity building sessions will be organised, particularly for the benefit of the small and medium enterprises.
There will also be an executive session, which will feature governors of the six states, at a panel to deliberate and agree on strategies to enhance the contributions of the region to non-oil exports, particularly within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which has been scheduled to commence in July this year.
The Federal Government had launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which seeks to promote economic diversification through the One State One Product (OSOP) programme.
To support this policy, NEXIM Bank launched the State Export Development Programme and earmarked N1 billion per state to catalyse the production and value addition of non-oil commodities for export.