In the year 2021, after the stringent economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) launched its flagship programme – The Export Expansion Facility Programme. Through this programme, it launched a ₦50 billion Export Development Fund.
The Fund was designed to serve as a source of succour to export businesses that had been immensely affected by the downward turn in the economy. Initially, the ₦50 billion Export Development Fund was earmarked to cater to businesses. Under the leadership of its 12-man steering committee, however, the Fund was judiciously spread across 1,100 businesses.
Some of these beneficiaries were interviewed, in a bid to measure the effectiveness of the Fund, and here is what some of them had to say;
Ebunoluwa Feludu, CEO of Jam-the-Coconut Food, said the grant had helped her upscale her business and move past survival. According to her, since receiving the EEFP grant, her company has onboarded more people, increased its production capacity and begun exporting to countries beyond the shores of Africa.
Another beneficiary, Deborah Apochi, CEO Shield of Women, stated that the Grant has helped her business upscale. Prior to the grant, her business dealt solely with trading agro-products. With the funds from the Expansion Fund, her company has been able to acquire the equipment needed to process finished products. According to her, Shield of Women is now able to “meet international best practices and ensure client satisfaction.”
For yet another beneficiary, Ade Adefeko, Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations, Olam International, the Expansion Development Fund helped his company solve the supply chain problem brought about by the pandemic.
Finally, for Nduka Udeh, Chief Executive Officer of Export & Sell; his business has been mandated to train and onboard over 10,000 businesses to Amazon US. As the recipient of the grant, he explained, “the grant has helped propel our support of training, warehousing and listing Made in Nigeria products to the e-commerce giant, Amazon.”