NEPC prepares small businesses for African trade deal

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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council said the country’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises should be empowered to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

NEPC Southwest Regional Coordinator Samuel Oyeyipo said this during a workshop organized for MSMEs by the Council’s Legal Unit in Lagos, in collaboration with the Export Expansion Facility program.

The workshop focused on the role of AfCFTA in the growth and development of intra-African trade, laws and treaties.

Oyeyipo, who described the MSME sector as the most important in the economy in terms of trade, distribution and, to some extent, production, said: “There is a need to let them know what is needed. to participate in the AfCFTA.

He said, “So we organized this workshop so that they know what they need to do in terms of product quality, packaging and certification.

“We have MSMEs in other African countries; so we cannot be left behind and we need to equip our MSMEs with the necessary knowledge so that they can also upgrade their businesses and skills in order to participate in AfCFTA.

NEPC Legal Chief Julie Onmoke said when AfCFTA was introduced the council believed “Nigerians would play it more than we see”.

She said, “This workshop has been specially designed to teach our exporters how to access the market to maximize the benefits and opportunities presented by AfCFTA by increasing the volume and value of Nigeria’s exports.

“Recently, the NEPC gave grants to deserving exporters to invest in their businesses in order to increase their production capacity. And when that is done, we expect that there will be more products, which would enter more markets. ”

A professor of international economic relations at Covenant University, Ota, Jonathan Aremu, said in his presentation at the event that trade liberalization, like the current AfCFTA, would certainly have a different impact on MSMEs due to their economic situation in the Nigerian economy.

He said: “Therefore, the AfCFTA will not achieve the intended objectives if it is not designed and implemented with adequate consideration of the situation of these MSMEs.

“Therefore, the development of an MSME-sensitive approach in the AfCFTA is necessary, in order to improve the positive outcomes for them in the implementation of continental economic integration. ”

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