The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained 50 onion producers and marketers on export procedures, government incentives, and other value chains to enhance their businesses.
The NEPC Trade Adviser and Head of the Sokoto zonal office, Mr Yahaya Ahmad-Sukaraiju, said the training was part of the agency’s efforts to sensitize business owners on onion value chains.
Ahmad-Sukaraiju described export incentives as a catalyst for boosting non-oil exports in Nigeria and urged business owners to enlist their items through the regulated modalities.
He said onions were selected in Sokoto state following the Initiative of the “One State, One Product” program, adding that the activity was aimed at creating awareness among business owners about the incentives provided by NEPC to enable them to become beneficiaries.
According to him, incentives would help make domestic products competitive in the global market and encourage the expansion of businesses.
“We need incentives to encourage the expansion of exports, encourage businesses to export certain types of goods and services to facilitate greater market penetration and encourage domestic value addition.
“For increased international competition and the demand for foreign markets, inadequate incentives are a disincentive to export,” he said.
Speaking in his presentation, Mal. Aminu Lawal, an Assistant Director from NEPC Headquarters, discussed the key functions of NEPC, its legal framework, and functions, emphasizing that incentives were provided to make the Nigerian economy viable.
Lawal said Nigeria needed to export to earn progress, increase foreign exchange, and facilitate income for national development.
He said that a well-articulated export plan was critical in granting incentives to businesses and listed the Export Development Fund (EDF) and Export Expansion Grant as incentives being awarded to qualified applicants who must be registered with the council.
The resource person said that opportunities for the EDF were usually advertised for applicants to upload their documents, including their proposals, to the council’s portal for processing.