BY JOHNMARK UKOKO
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) held a one-day workshop in Jos to sensitise potential exporters on ways of marketing Nigeria’s non-oil products in foreign markets.
Declaring the workshop open, Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, who was represented at the workshop by an official of the council, Mrs Angela Uche-Echieh, said it was part of its mandate to sensitise existing and prospective exporters in the country.
Uche-Echieh added that the workshop also aimed at educating participants on the various benefits of adopting district features of satisfying specific needs of target markets.
“The workshop is put together because the council is mindful of the various challenges exporters face to quality markets in the United States of America, European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK).
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“We are here to sensitise exporters and prospective ones on how they can access our services to boost their export.
“This is an avenue to engage exporters on the ways to diversify their activities to penetrate and compete favourably with foreign counterparts in the international market, ” she said.
The NEPC’s official noted that the distortion of global businesses and economies by COVID – 19 meant that there was the need to increase non-oil earnings.
She added that the NEPC in collaboration with stakeholders had been agitating for the full implementation of zero-oil plan that would build the economy to depend less on crude oil revenues.
Also, in her address at the workshop, another official of the council, Mrs Sarah Temlong, said that penetrating global markets involved early research, setting of goals and strategic planning, as well as effective implementation.
“Producers and manufacturers must ensure that their products meet international requirements of health, safety, packaging and labelling import regulations and environmental adaptability, technical and marketing standards.
“It is in the light of this that the council organized this workshop to increase the awareness of exporters on the relevance of developing products and services to favourably compete in the international market,” she stressed.
Presenting a paper on the theme of the workshop, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Export Operation and Management, Ofon Udofia, identified factors inhibiting the export of goods and services in the country.
He said such factors include the absence of quality product information to consumers, cumbersome administrative procedures, lack of certification of products, as well as irregular supply and instability of products.
Udofia, however, noted that certification, proper packaging and levelling reminded some of the ways to protect and guarantee production and sustainable supply.