Edo State Government says it will partner with the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) in the area of empowerment of entrepreneurs to ensure that their products meet international standard.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said this when he received the management of NEXIM, led by the Executive Director, Hon. Stella Okotete, at the Government House, Benin, on Thursday.
Obaseki said that his administration was keen on developing human capacity and skills in areas where the state had comparative advantage.
“If we are not able to produce goods that are of global standard, goods that are competitive, we will always be subjected to importation.
“We believe that NEXIM is a natural partner in the objectives we have set as a state to achieve industrialization.”
He said his administration was also focusing on ways to reduce the cost of production and exportation by providing steady power supply and ease means of transportation of goods.
“If goods are cheaper abroad, it will be better to import than export; we believe there are lots of incentives given by the Federal government to support exportation.
“So, we need to go beyond the rhetorics and implement strategies that will make our export products competitive.
“The Benin Industrial park will be a hub for exporters and the Gelegele Sea Port, when completed, will ensure lower cost for exported goods as water transportation is cost effective.”
Earlier, Okotete said the purpose of the visit was to showcase the bank’s funding opportunities to encourage exportation of non-oil products in the state.
Okotete said the bank was ready to partner with the Edo State Government in the actualization of its Industrial park project, human capacity building and provision of financial advisory services to entrepreneurs.
“We have the N500 billion Export Stimulation Fund in partnership with the CBN and the N50 billion State Export Development Fund which Edo State can tap into.
“There is also the N3 billion Export Development Fund, which is earmarked to build capacity; to train entrepreneurs in the non-oil sector on how to add value to their products to meet international standard.”
According to her, the fund will be given to women and youth co-operatives to enable them harness opportunities in the export value chain.
Amaka E. Nliam