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FG flags off N50bn export expansion facility programme

FG flags off N50bn export expansion facility programme
March 29
22:50 2021

Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, on Monday, flagged off the N50 billion export expansion facility programme (EEFP) in Abuja.

The programme, a component of the N2.3 trillion Nigeria economic sustainability plan, is targeted at cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-oil export businesses by safeguarding and creating jobs.

The trade minister also launched an online grant management portal for non-oil exports. It would process applications for the export development fund (EDF).

Exporters, via the portal, can register for grants as direct intervention from the federal government. The fund serves to provide financial assistance to exporting companies to cover part of their initial expenses with respect to export promotion activities.

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Adebayo said the goal of the programme is to increase Nigeria’s export capacity in the near term and its export volumes in the medium term.

“The ultimate aim of the export expansion facility programme as an intervention following the devastating economic effects of COVID -19 to exporters and MSMEs in Nigeria will be to save jobs, create jobs, support resilience in shoring up foreign exchange, diversification, modernisation of Nigeria’s economy and acceleration of economic growth and economic support,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Olusegun Awolowo, chief executive officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said the government’s initiative would help export businesses recover losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“As we launch the export development fund (EDF), we will apply the use of technology through the grant management portal which ‘goes live’ today so that we will be equalising opportunities to achieve inclusive economic growth through non-oil exports,” Awolowo said.

“The EDF is a pre-shipment incentive stipulated in the NEPC Act, which due to lack of funds was never activated.

“We were however overjoyed by the provision of the export expansion facility which provided the opportunity for us to finally activate the fund for our teeming SME exporting companies, who over the years have been unable to access the active export expansion grant, which is a post-shipment incentive.”

On her part, Mariam Katagum, minister of state for industry, trade and investment, expressed optimism that the scheme will positively impact export- related small businesses.

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