Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo on Monday officially flagged- off the Federal Government’s N50 billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) and launched the first on-line Grant Management Portal for non-oil exports at Export House, Abuja.
The EEFP is part of the Federal Government’s N2.3 trillion fund of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, which focuses on cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-oil export businesses thereby safeguarding jobs and creating new jobs.
“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,” the Minister said.
The Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo said the Federal Government would apply the use of technology through the Grant Management Portal equalise 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,” Awolowo said.
The Minister of State, Mariam Yalwaji Katagun, said the Export Expansion track would go on to impact the export-related small businesses.
“We must ensure that small businesses within the export-related sector benefit from the scheme in great numbers as this is the core objective of Mr. President’s approval of the scheme,” she said.