The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has rolled out a N5 billion international trade palliative for exporters and prospective exporters in the country.
Assistant Director, Export Development and Incentives Department of the council, Mr Peter Njoku, explained the development on Wednesday in Enugu during a workshop organised for exporters in the South-East zone.
Njoku said the palliative, known as Export Development Fund (EDF), had been dormant for over 30 years but was recently reactivated by the Federal Government.
He urged Small and Medium Enterprises operators from the zone to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in international trade.
He expressed concern that exporters from the region were not showing the willingness to assess government intervention funds meant to boost trade.
According to Njoku, only a handful of exporters from the zone applied and benefitted from a recent Export Development Grant of the federal government.
“The reactivated EDF is part of the export development facilities of the federal government aimed at increasing export in Nigeria.
“From the records, it is obvious that people from the southeast do not usually come out to be part of this type of thing.”
Njoku appealed to entrepreneurs from the region to always identify with such government interventions in order to benefit from the largesse. The theme of the workshop is “Export Development Fund Reactivation and Implementation for the South East Region”.
“Almost every intending exporter is qualified to access the fund. The requirements are not stringent to potential exporters,” he said.
Njoku said that once an applicant met the requirements, such person would get the disbursement.
Earlier, the Regional Coordinator, NEPC, Mr Arnold Jackson, said the federal government had introduced many incentives to encourage non-oil export.
Jackson said that the move was in support of the diversification mantra of the government, which had been in the front burner.
“For us in NEPC, it is important that we sensitise the people on the potentials of these programmes,” Jackson added.