Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, officially flagged off the Federal Government’s N50billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) and launched the first on-line Grant Management Portal (GMP) for non-oil exports at Export House, Abuja.
The EEFP which is part of the Federal Government’s N2.3 trillion fund of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, focuses on cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-oil export businesses thereby safeguarding jobs and creating new jobs.
In his keynote address, Adebayo stated: “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, modernization of Nigeria’s economy and acceleration of economic growth and economic support”.
He was joined by the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, who is also the Chairman, National Executive Council (NEC) of the National Committee for Export Promotion.
Also at the ground-breaking event was the Minister of State for MITI, Mrs. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, Chairman Senate Committee on Commerce, Chairman, House Committee on Commerce, Chairman, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Governing Board, Senator Ibrahim Musa, Vice Chairman Steering Committee of the Export Expansion Facility Programme, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo and their host, the Executive Director /CEO, NEPC Mr Olusegun Awolowo.
Awolowo who also doubles as Secretary of the Steering Committee, in his welcome address stated: “As we launch the 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. The Export Development Fund 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. We are confident that through this Facility, we will save jobs and create jobs.”
The first on-line Grant Management Portal for non-oil exports in Nigeria is supported by the EEFP and all applications for the Export Development Fund (EDF) will be processed through the System.