NEPC Begins Non-Oil Exports Certification Process For 200 MSMEs
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Thursday commenced the Non-Oil certification process for 200 Micro Small Medium Enterprises SMEs.
The Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak disclosed this at the women and youth inclusive session held as part of the activities for the export week.
Dr. Yakusak while presenting certificates to representatives of 101 SMEs that benefited from the certification program, noted that the project is a fully sponsored scheme with the NEPC bearing 100 per cent of the financial burden.
“The Council had fully sponsored implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HALAL and ISO22000 certifications for 154 MSMEs in the last 2 years.
“As part of its Export4Survival campaign, the Council is undertaking full sponsorship of HACCP and FDA for 200 MSMEs companies.
“This is to commence immediately. It is worthy of mention that 80 per cent of the beneficiaries of the NEPC-sponsored certification programme are women-owned businesses,” Dr. Yakusak said.
According to him, the scheme will further stop the cases of rejected exported products and increase the competitiveness of Nigerian products in foreign markets.
The CEO announced that in the past two years, the Council had made deliberate efforts to harness the inherent potential in the youths by creating the Youth Export Development Programme (YEXDEP), which is geared at mainstreaming Nigerian youth into the non-oil export business.
He stressed the importance of empowering the women and youth in the country, stating that “over the world, women and youths are regarded as critical change agents in any economy. They also account for a substantial portion of economic production and GDP in every economy of the world.”
Ezra further disclosed that the Council has entered into a partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC), under the trades initiative with the objective of connecting 200,000 women from Nigeria to the global market by 2021.
He said the Council recently initiated an Export Mentorship Programme, where registered youth exporting companies (Mentees) will be attached to Performing Exporters (Mentors) for tutelage covering a period of 3-4weeks.
Under this pilot program, he said the mentees will be exposed to the practice of export business as this process will bridge the failure gap experienced by potential exporters.