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South South states move to diversify economy, hold summit in Delta

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In a move to diversify the economy of the region, the six states of the South-South geopolitical zone will be brainstorming in Asaba, Delta State to explore export potential in that regard.

To that extent, the Delta State Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Export, Import Bank (NEXIM) will host the South-South geo-political zone’s Export Enlightenment and Engagement Programme from Tuesday, January 28 and Thursday, 30, 2020 in Asaba.

The programme with the theme, “Maximising the Export Potential of the South-South Region for Economic Growth,” will be the first in the series to be organised in the different geopolitical zones of the country during the year.

It is in furtherance of NEXIM Bank’s mandate of promoting diversification of the Nigerian economy and boosting non-oil exports and would be declared open by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

A statement issued by the management of NEXIM Bank, noted that other governors expected to attend the conference are, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Ban Ayade (Cross River), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Rivers’ Nyesom Wike, as well as members of the organised private sector and other stakeholders.

“The event seeks to bring together exporters, bankers, policymakers, top government officials and operators in the non-oil export sector towards highlighting the non-oil export potential of the south-South region and other pertinent issues that impact its contribution to economic diversification.

“The conference will be addressed by various high profile speakers, including the Chief Executive Officers of NEXIM, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Incentive Risk Based System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

“Others are those of the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and Raw Materials Research & Development Council (RMRDC),” the statement reads.

Also to speak at the event are managing directors of financial institutions led by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, Development Bank of Nigeria, Anthony Okapanachi, as well as those of the Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry (BOI).

“Exporters and prospective exporters will also have the opportunity to display their products at the exhibition stalls that will be provided, while various capacity building sessions will be organised, particularly for the benefit of the SMEs.

“Highpoint of the programme would be the executive session, which will feature the governors of the six states of the South-South geopolitical zone to deliberate and agree on strategies to enhance the contributions of the region to non-oil exports, particularly within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has been scheduled to commence in July 2020,” the statement added.


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