At Uyo event, NEPC re-echoes economic diversification
Disturbed by the falling oil prices at the international market, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has unveiled what it termed ‘One- State-One-Product Programme’ under its “Zero Oil” initiative to create employment in states through value-addition and wealth creation as well as diversify the nation from a mono-product economy.
During the event in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, NEPC’s Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Segun Awolowo, reminded participants that quality product certification was key to successful export trade.
Noting that certification was of two types, he explained that the mandatory one is a prerequisite for engagement in the local market, while the non-mandatory gives access to the international market.
Awolowo said his organisation was conducting training and clinics in respect of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Storage Practices (GSP) considering the critical place of value addition in export promotion with a view to diversifying the nation’s economy.
The NEPC chief pointed out that the global market had changed systematically with greater attention to products with certifications.
He added that packaging and labelling were also essential components of product development in terms of standard and market promotion.
Also speaking at the workshop with the theme, “Quality, Standards, Packaging, Labelling and Certification of Processed Foods In Akwa Ibom State”, the Deputy Director/ Trade Promotion Advisor, Mrs. Pauline Ndulaka, summarised that the move was to empower communities for economic growth through adequate deployment of their natural resources.
She said the gathering became important too to address those salient issues that stand in the way of best practices as far as value chain is concerned.
The deputy director regretted that Nigeria’s non-oil products had faced rejection globally in recent times on account of preventable lapses that revolve around packaging and certification.
She submitted that the losses could have been avoided had the processors applied conscientious control checks and sanitary measures at the value chain level.
Admitting that the country has good products, Ndulaka added that quality labeling and certification of processed foods would create jobs for the teeming youths and enhance exports.
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