Providus Bank Boosts NEPC’s Non-Oil Exports

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Olusegun Awolowo

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Providus Bank slates N100m to boost export initiatives of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Sep 12, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT  |

KINGSLEY Aigbokhaevbo, executive director, Providus Bank Limited, said the bank has set aside the sum of N100 million to support the zero to export initiative of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC. The zero to export scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the council, which focuses on creating a new generation of Nigerian exporters through practical and theoretical training of business executives, bankers, civil servant, unemployed graduates and retired citizens with interest in export business.

Providus Bank is one of the newly licensed commercial banks operating in the country. Aigbokhaevbo said the first export activity by the new exporters is expected to take place in October, buoyed by the new financing lifeline from the bank.

On his part, Olusegun Awolowo, executive secretary/chief executive, NEPC, said it would continue to create opportunities for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of exportation through capacity building training programmes. Awolowo spoke in Abuja, at the passing out ceremony of 38 trainees in Batch 3 of Zero to Export capacity building programme.

He added that the scheme has been part of the council’s efforts to reposition the non-oil sector, re-write it’s narrative through job creation and inclusive growth – thereby making it a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP. He said, “There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that non-oil export sector is expected to play in the present administration’s effort at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from over reliance on oil as its main stay, especially now that the continuous fall in price of oil has thrown the world economy in recession.”

Awolowo said the graduants are better prepared to boost the country’s export capabilities, adding that the export business is for seriously committed people and not a hubby. According to him, “They’ve gone through the rudiment and seen that Export cannot be a hubby but a full time job that requires you to get your company and start to export. We are thrilled by these crops of exporters that know the A-Z of export.

“These are the set of exporters that are going to help take Nigerian goods abroad. Today, we have Providus Bank, a new bank that has come in and said the first thing we want to do is export and they’ve set up an export desk and are now going to be working with these crop of graduants that have formed themselves into a cooperative and they are going to be helping them.”

“And they’ve told you that their first export will be done in October and Providus Bank has come to help them to the tune of N100 million. These are the kinds of strategy and partnerships that we are looking for in order to transform the country’s economy.”

The programme is anchored on a public private partnership, PPP, arrangement led by the Consultant Kola Awe of EPT Logistics International Limited with support from Fidelity Bank Plc.

Joe Itah, head, Corporate Communications, NEPC, in a statement, said the programme has so far trained and graduated over 100 trainees from the Lagos and Abuja centers and most of the trainees have formed registered cooperatives, and are already exporting.

The Batch 3 graduates have also registered the Integrated Exporters’ Cooperative Society Limited and it’s hoped that the programme would bring about a high value addition to non-oil products and services in the country at a time when the nation needs to revive its manufacturing, agricultural and industrial sectors.

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