The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained women entrepreneurs across the country on export market strategy to boost global competitiveness and the diversification drive of the Federal Government.
Mr Ezra Yakusak, Executive Director of the Council, said the high performance of women in sectors like agriculture, textiles, and apparel showed that women play a major role in the diversification of the nation’s economy.
Yakusak, represented by the Deputy Director in Uyo office, Mrs Pauline Ndulaka, stated this during a one-day training for women-owned businesses in Uyo on Thursday.
He said a recent survey conducted by the World Bank indicated that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurs in the world.
He expressed displeasure that these businesses were classified as low level because they operated in informal sectors that yielded little income.
“I am delighted for this market strategy training programme organised by the Women in Export Division, Nigerian Export Promotion Council for the benefit of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
“It has become necessary to optimize export activities in Nigeria, especially in areas that were previously untapped, like Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Women-Owned Businesses (WBOs).
“There is a need to increase women’s potential to participate in high-level businesses that can foster financial empowerment, job creation, and social development in their communities.
“The participation of women in trade promotes gender inclusiveness, increases the growth potential of the nation, and creates a more balanced framework for sustainable development,” he said.
Yakusak encouraged all exporters to continue to learn specific requirements of the target markets, as well as the certification needed for their products to be exported.
Earlier in her remarks of welcome, Mrs Ndulaka said that the good attendance of women in the training was a confirmation of the interest and commitment they had placed on the growth of the non-oil sector.
Ndulaka, represented by Mrs Christiana Ekeng, NEPC’s Head of Product and Market, Uyo office, said that women’s economic empowerment was crucial to the economic development of emerging economies like Nigeria.
She said that when women were empowered to enter the export business, it would trigger employment generation, poverty reduction, and increase the standard of living.