Nigeria on Thursday inaugurated an 11-member steering committee for the implementation of the N50 billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP).
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo who conducted the assignment said the facility is under the N2.3 trillion National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), launched last year to aid economic recovery following the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EEFP was aimed at protecting 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.
The Federal Government will spend an estimated N2.3 trillion to fund the National Economic Sustainability Plan, but the N50 billion Export Expansion Facility programme will focus on driving economic growth through exports.
The minister stated this when he stressed that the facility is targeted at providing support to exporters particularly micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, MSMEs.
“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,” Adebayo said.
However, the committee, which is headed by the minister as chairman, will ensure that the programme is implemented in line with the federal government’s objectives and for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries.
It is also saddled with the responsibility to approve the programme implementation plan and budget and ensure the programme is implemented on time, on budget and in accordance with agreed priorities.
Giving an overview of the EEFP, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, commended the Federal Government for approving the Facility. He pointed 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.
“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.
“The Export Expansion Facility programme is tagged #pandemic2prosperity,” Awolowo said.