The newly-appointed ED/CE of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, recently paid a courtesy call on the Managing D/CEO of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja, to discuss areas of possible collaboration and synergy. The visit would be the first of such courtesy calls by Awolowo since he was appointed to the position by Mr. President last December. Welcoming his counterpart to the bank, Mr. Robert Orya thanked Awolowo and his team for taking the initial collaborative step, noting that NEPC and NEXIM Bank were the principal agencies of government responsible for the promotion of non-oil exports. Orya further informed Awolowo that the Bank is developing the ECOWAS and other Africa regional markets as the traditional market for Nigerian exporters, to provide a strong platform for exporters to venture into the more complex markets of Asia and other developed economies in line with the strategy in other jurisdictions where the EXIM Banks first developed their regional market. Towards developing the ECOWAS market, NEXIM had earlier launched the ECOWAS Trade Support Facility (ETSF) to reduce the level of informal trade and encourage the small scale exporters to use the banking system to leverage their operations. Awolowo said he has great confidence in the country’s ability to meet her development goals and commended the initiatives of NEXIM in enhancing the level of formal trade, noting that the study conducted by NEPC revealed that informal trade annually was about $12bn, far more than the formal trade valued at $3 billion. wHe promised that NEPC would work closely with NEXIM to improve the level of trade flows and also improve the trade statistics.
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