As a result of different policies and programmes initiated by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria’s women exporters are now competing internationally, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, has said.
He stated this yesterday in Abuja at the International women’s day celebration organised by the NEPC tagged ‘Breaking Barriers: Enhancing inclusiveness and creating opportunities for women in non-oil export’.
He said the council’s quest to increase the participation of women in non-oil exports led to the launch of the Women in Export Development programme in 2017.
“Through this programme, NEPC created a Women in Export Unit and assigned women desk officers to provide support services for the 3,610 female exporters who are currently registered with NEPC as well as other women entrepreneurs who are interested in non-oil export,” he said.
On the policies and programmes initiated to boost women’s participation in export globally, he added that “In the last two years, NEPC has fully sponsored 154 SMEs to acquire international voluntary certifications such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HALAL and ISO 22000, under the “Go Global Go Certification” project which was launched in 2021. 125 of those SMEs are women-owned businesses which is about 81% of the beneficiaries of this project.
“The NEPC recently initiated an exporters’ mentorship programme which pairs prospective exporters with experienced performing exporters that can guide and handhold them on how to successfully navigate the export terrain.
“From 2018 till date, about 5,000 Nigerian women entrepreneurs have participated in programmes organized by the SheTrades Nigeria Hub and 30 women associations and business support providers are listed on the NEPC/ITC Business Support Organisation (BSO) Directory, which is hosted on the NEPC website to ensure that women entrepreneurs have easy access to the support services they need to grow their export businesses,” the NEPC boss further explained.