Abuja, Nigeria 14 January 2021
FG inaugurates a Steering Committee to implement its N50bn Export Expansion Facility Under the FGN N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan
The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Niyi Adebayo on Thursday, 14 January 2021 inaugurated an 11-Man Steering Committee for the implementation of the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) under the National Economic Sustainability Plan. The EEFP aims to protect export businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard jobs and de-risk the economy from shocks like COVID. Its primary goal is to increase Nigeria’s export capacity in the near term and its export volumes in the medium term.
Though Government will spend an estimated N2.3 trillion to fund the National Economic Sustainability Plan, the Export Expansion Facility programme will focus on driving economic growth through exports. The Minister expressed this when he stressed that the Facility is targeted at providing support to exporters particularly Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs). In his words, “export growth is at the centre of our strategy for diversifying Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange and reducing the vulnerability of the economy to external shocks. We have witnessed time and again, the devastating impact that events outside our control can have on our livelihoods due to our reliance on a primary source of foreign exchange”.
The Steering Committee is an integral part of the Programme and a key driver of its success. Its responsibilities are to:
• Ensure the Program is implemented in line with the Federal Government’s objectives and for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries.
• Approve the Program Implementation Plan and Budget and ensure the Program is implemented on time, on budget and in accordance with agreed priorities.
• Approve the implementation strategy of the EEF’s projects and the target beneficiaries for each project, where applicable
• Approve disbursements to beneficiaries, vendors and implementation partners
• Review the periodic performance reports and resolve implementation challenges.
Giving an overview of the EEFP, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr Olusegun Awolowo commended the Federal
Government for approving the Facility pointing out that monetary stimulus package as provided in the Facility will significantly help in reviving not only the SMEs, but also big corporations in the non-oil export sector that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, Awolowo observed that the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on exporting businesses might be further exacerbated with the official takeoff of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January, this year adding that with the emergence of the single market, there will be attendant challenges that exporters will contend with.
He disclosed that the EEFP will execute 16 programmes as approved in the Implementation Work plan under five Workstreams namely – Capacity Building, Financing, Market Development, Infrastructure and Institutional Strengthening.
Awolowo explained that the application of the EEF funds fall within the context of the Export Incentives and Miscellaneous provisions Act CAP E19 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
According to him “The Act stipulates that the Funds especially (Export Development Fund and Export Adjustment Scheme Fund), shall be used to provide financial assistance to exporting companies to cover their expenses in respect of export promotion activities”.
In his remarks, the Governor of Jigawa, the Chairman of NEC Committee on Export Promotion, acknowledged the efforts of the President and the Vice President in driving the diversification of the country’s economy away from oil. He expressed confidence in the ability of the Steering Committee to drive the initiative to the desired outcome of making non-oil export a major contributor to Nigeria’s GDP.
Apart from the Chairman, other Steering Committee Members present inauguration held via Zoom are Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo (Vice-Chairman); Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC (Member / Secretary); Excellency Abubakar Badaru (Chairman, NCEP - Member) Mansur Ahmed (President, MAN - Member); Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu (President, NACCIMA - Member); Mrs. Saratu Umar (Member); Mr. Suleiman Audu (Director, FMITI – Member); Mr. Kamar Bakrin (Member); Dr Ahmed Bashar (Member).
Joe Itah – 08033118194