The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has on Tuesday sensitised exporters on leveraging on existing trade agreements for market access in Kaduna State.
Trade agreements are contractual arrangement between states concerning their trade relationships, ir maybe bilateral or multilateral which is between two or more states in international trade.
The capacity building was done in collaboration with the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).
The Coordinator, NEPC Kaduna Smart Office, Alhaji Kasim Yahaya, said the program was specially organised to sensitise exporters and create awareness on trade windows for betterment of their businesses and the state’s economy.
He said that the exporters would be enlightened more on how they can solve the challenge of market access through the trade agreements windows, noting that Nigeria is yet to optimally benefit from the trade windows.
Yahaya noted that Nigeria has three already existing important and beneficial trade agreements which were African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that has been in existence since May 2002 and slated to come to an end in 2025.
He added that exporters and potential exporters could also leverage on
the Ecowas Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), established in 1979 and the recent African continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements, established in 2018 for market access.
Making presentation on ‘ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme’,
Yahaya said economic cooperation has become dominant factor in contemporary international relations where nations are increasingly pursuing economic prosperity through bilateral and multilateral networks.
He said if the ECOWAS sub-region would live up to its expectations, the ETLS will have to be more aggressively implemented.
Yahaya said at the end of the program, they would gain more knowledge
on how to export their products by leveraging on the trade agreements to gain access into the international market.
Yahaya restated the NEPC’s committment in making the world a market place for Nigeria non-oil export products, while assuring KADCCIMA of their continuous collaborations in promoting non-oil export in Kaduna state.
Earlier, the President of KADCCIMA, Alhaji Sulaiman Aliyu, said the capacity building was part of programmes lined up by the present Council of the Chamber for 2022.
He said the programme was organised to enlighten their members and members of the business community who are already into export businesses or potential exporters so as to gain insight and improve their skills on export trade.
Aliyu noted that the Chamber accords great importance to non-oil export as one of the game changers in strengthening the state’s economy.
“It is likewise one of the areas of focus by the current administration to diversify the economy away from over reliance on oil as the main earner of revenue,” he said.
He further said the sensitisation would unravel the threats and opportunities surrounding the trade agreements.
He noted that for some of the organised private sector with concerns in areas of trade facilitation, access to finance, technology, trade information hub, production capacity among others, the fear was that the trade agreements would place Nigeria at disadvantage.
“This inform the need to be assured that no country would have an edge over another without a robust manufacturing sector,”Aliyu said.
Some of the producers and exporters, Mrs Mary Audu and Mr Stephen Kayode, urged the NEPC and other relevant stakeholders in the export sector in provision of enabling environment for exporters to thrive in their businesses.
They called on the Government to minimise the cost of export and set minimum standards for exportation.
The presentation on ‘opportunities in North and Maghreb in the light of African continental free trade area’, among others presentations were also delivered to the participants.