The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has launched the Youth for Export Programme (YEF) targeted at empowering the youth with skills and expertise to export different products.
Speaking during the launch, the Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said the programme is aimed at harnessing the untapped potential of Nigerian youths to become export champions.
He said although different entrepreneurship projects targeted at youth employment have been initiated by successive governments, they have not yielded the desired result due to numerous challenges including access to finance, and skill gap among others.
He said, “It is in response to these challenges that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council initiated the Youth for Export Programme which is being launched today.
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“The programme was conceived to address these key constraints by mainstreaming youth participation in the non-oil export sector, as part of the council’s Export for Survival campaign.
“The Youth for Export Programme is therefore designed to empower young Nigerians by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage in export activities and aimed at building capacity of the youth population by addressing export skill gaps, standards and quality requirements for export products; documentation and procedural issues as well as the technicalities involved in trading offshore.
“Annually we are targeting about 2000 youths through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Zeenab Goods which are the operators of the Domestic Export Warehouse in China as we intend to provide training and mentorship on the export process, market research, product development, and access to funding and markets,” he stated.
Earlier in her remarks, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, who was represented by the Director, Export Development, Kaura Irimiya, noted that the scheme is part of the federal government’s efforts to ensure that youths, especially corps members earn a living after graduation.