Entrepreneurs in Niger state have not been able to access export expansion grants because they do not possess formal documentation of their products in the international market.
The Niger state coordinator of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Bello Ibrahim Noma, stated this in an interview with weekend.
He stated that most exporters from the state are operating at informal level, adding that it has affected their capacity to access the post shipment funds also known as export expansion grants.
He said, “Equally, we are worried about the capacity of our entrepreneurs in the international market. NEPC has series of incentives like the pre- shipment incentives known as export development fund and the post shipment fund also known as export expansion grants. We realised that in 2021 when the council gave out grants in form of export development fund, most of the entrepreneurs from Niger state benefitted, but they were not able to benefit from the export expansion grants because they were operating informal exporting.”
Noma stated the need for the entrepreneurs, especially those into the agribusiness export to formalise and obtain all necessary documents required for export before they can access the grants.
The state coordinator added that NEPC has carried out series of sensitisation seminars and workshops involving stakeholders on how the state entrepreneurs can compete favourably with their counterparts in other states.
He said, “In this regard, the council has just concluded a stakeholders engagement forum in Minna with the theme ” Unlocking the Potentials of Agri- business in Niger state for Export,” adding that there were successful deliberations on how to improve the quality of products to avoid rejection in the international market.