By Gloria Abutu
The Adamawa state government has been urged to take proactive steps in facilitating funding to boost non-oil export.
Stakeholders made the call during an Export Clinic on enhancing foreign market penetration, organized by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC in Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
In a presentation titled, ‘The Fundamentals of Export Trade’, the North East Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mr. John Okorie noted that the essence of the programme was to acquaint business owners and companies with the basic knowledge required for international trade.
“The Export Clinic is to ensure that people get inducted into the export hub. When people get registered, we let them know what to do for successful export”, he said.
While highlighting the benefits of export to national growth, Okorie noted that the north east was lagging behind in non- oil export despite being blessed with abundant natural resources.
He identified funding as a prerequisite for successful export and appealed to state governments to take concrete steps to ease access to financial resources in order to improve the revenue base of their states and the country at large.
According to him, “The North East has a challenge in accessing funds. Adamawa was labeled red in accessing funds. We are trying to see how we can remove this red line, and make it able to access funds.”
“The NEXIM MD has been written to, and the NEPC ED is aware of this. We are working on it”, he added.
expressed readiness to engage in export activities but lamented the difficulty in accessing loans from financial institutions such as the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, Bank of Agriculture, BOA and the Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN.
According to Juliet Joseph, CEO of a food Agro Processing company, “This training is an eye-opener because we are really sitting on wealth, but we are not aware of it. In the North East, we have many products that we can export and make good money.”
She also pointed out that “One of the major challenges SMEs suffer is funding. To get loans from NEXIM bank, BOA or DBN is very difficult.” “We are begging government to help us get these loans at ease to better our lives and increase the nation’s revenue”, she appealed.
Salisu Sabo, an exporter in Adamawa state decried the cumbersome procedure in accessing loans from banks.
“So far, I don’t know of any exporter in Adamawa that has accessed facility from NEXIM bank or any other commercial bank.”
“They emphasize on Certificate of Occupancy as collateral requirement” he continued.
According to Sabo, “If they can make the collateral requirements include insurance bonds, and so on, it will be easier for exporters to access such facilities.”
They therefore solicited government intervention to enable them meet the demands of non-oil export.
Participants at the Export Clinic were drawn from Small and Medium Enterprises, farmers, export groups among others.