NEPC begs CBN to release export development fund

The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) yesterday appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the export development fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Chief executive officer of the council, Segun Awolowo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that non-release of the fund had affected SMEs operators.

Awolowo said many operators had processed such products like cassava, sesame seeds, hibiscus, soya beans, among others, into finished products, but required export grant to facilitate the trade.

“We have so many new SMEs showing interest in export business, especially in non-oil export.

“But they are handicapped because pre-shipment procedures cost a lot.

“The fund would make post-shipment procedure easier for SMEs to operate in,” he said.

Awolowo urged the CBN to urgently release the fund because most SME operators were no longer willing to export raw materials but finished products to Europe.

He said the council was however, hopeful that the CBN would grant the request soon.

Awolowo assured that the council would continue to train a new crop of exporters on the rudiments of non-oil export business.

He said that the new trend would create more jobs, generate more revenue and ensure food security to the country.

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