The Federal Government has inaugurated the N50 billion export expansion facility programme (EEFP) in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who flagged off the N50 billion export expansion facility programme (EEFP) initiative in Abuja, said the programme, is a component of the N2.3 trillion Nigeria economic sustainability plan
He added that the sustainability plan is geared at cushioning the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on non-oil export businesses by safeguarding and creating employment opportunities.
Adebayo, the former governor of Ekiti State also used the opportunity to unveil an online grant management portal for non-oil exports.
He said the portal would help to process applications for the Export Development Fund (EDF).
Adebayo posited that exporters can register for grants as direct intervention from the federal government through the portal, saying the fund serves to provide financial assistance to exporting companies in order to cover part of their initial expenses with respect to export promotion activities.
He noted further that the essence of the project is to increase nation’s export capacity in the short term and its export volumes in the medium term.
“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, modernisation of Nigeria’s economy and acceleration of economic growth and economic support,” Adebayo said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr. Olusegun Awolowo, in his remarks during the occasion, stated that the government’s initiative would help export businesses recover losses incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we launch the export development fund (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 EDF 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.” Awolowo said.
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