NEPC tasks exporters on opportunities in $60b global leather market
With global trade of leather and allied products worth over $60 billion, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked exporters on the need to tap into the global leather market expected to increase its market size even further.Indeed, the council stated that it was intensifying its effort by targeting five per cent of the global leather market, maintaining that Nigerian exporters have all it takes to compete at the international market if given the necessary support and encouragement they deserve.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Segun Awolowo, however expressed concerns at the low level of Nigerian players in the global leather market space, stressing that the Council is poised to change the narrative.
Awolowo who was represented by the Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Babatunde Faleke, at a public presentation and pop-up sales of made-in-Nigeria leather products, lamented over the export of Nigeria’s natural endowments unprocessed, a trend he said provides job opportunities for other country.
The NEPC boss said adding value to the nation’s natural resources is the way to go to earn foreign exchange as well as creating job opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming unemployed youths.He explained that the forum was to build capacities of exporters on product development while also prequalifying them for export readiness.
“We have very few exporters of leather products in the global leather market space. So many people are not interested and they do not have the skill to produce to global standards and if we can just get 2 per cent of the global trade we will be fine, but our target is 5 per cent of the global leather market,” he said.
‘‘Our new strategy is zero to export, we are taking these exporters from zero level to export level which we call from start to finish and we are also worried about Nigeria exporting our leather in raw form only to get these products returned back to us as finished products. So, we have decided to train these exporters on value addition,’’ he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Wealth Creation and Employment, Temiwumi Tope-Banjoko, commended the initiative and restated the ministry’s commitment to drive non-oil export growth.
The Trade Commissioner, High Commission of Malaysia, Mohd Maidin, commended NEPC for the initiative, saying that it is a good step for the country in its quest for economic diversification.He also extended Malaysia’s invitation to Nigerian exporters to showcase their products during Malaysia’s trade fair scheduled to hold later in the year.
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