PDF Bridge Programme Set To Hold Its Online Non-oil Exporters Roundtable On Export Expansion Grant

The PDF Bridge programme is set to hold its on-line Non-oil Exporters roundtable on Export Expansion Grant (EEG).

The roundtable is expected to be evidence-based with conversations bordering on key findings and recommendations from the recently concluded study on: ‘Analysis and Impact of the Export Expansion Grant on Export Potentials, Market Access and Export Competitiveness in Nigeria’.

The study analysed how the implementation of EEG since its inception has adequately stimulated the growth of non-oil export in Nigeria.

The event scheduled to hold on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 will have participants from all over the globe, especially key stakeholders in the Nigerian export market including the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), Trade Associations, Regulatory agencies and export facilitating agencies, development partners and other key stakeholders.

According to Dr Titilola Akindeinde, PDF-Bridge Programme Manager: “The Export Expansion Grant (EEG) was set up to alleviate the financial burden on non-oil exporters thereby stimulating non-oil exports in Nigeria. “It is unfortunate that non-oil exporters are being owed billions of naira in unpaid claims, having engaged in exports on the promise of the EEG”.

PDF Bridge through its predecessor programme commissioned a study to look into some of the issues affecting the efficient implementation of the EEG while making recommendations on how these may be addressed. The study was part of the programme’s contributions towards the Government of Nigeria’s priority areas on reforming the business environment to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive sustainably.

This roundtable themed “Analysis and Impact of Export Expansion Grant on Export Potential, Market Access and Export Competitiveness in Nigeria”, will critically dissect the issues highlighted in the study with a view to developing an action plan that will ensure adequate incentivisation of export through a reformed EEG that works for non-oil exporters. We are looking forward to having robust discussions with the invited participants drawn from both the private and public sectors”.

The EEG and similar support schemes are created to make exports of Nigerian origin to withstand intense competition from the global market. The business environment in Nigeria makes production and export from the country naturally uncompetitive.

According to Mr. Olufemi Boyede, a Certified International Trade Professional, “The Roundtable could not have come at a better time. Educating the authorities about the critical importance of incentivizing, rather than militarizing Nigeria’s non-oil exports. Exporters must therefore, take the front burner now. The fastest route to a diversified economy is export development and growth. Unfortunately, with continued reduction in the budgetary allocation to EEG, Nigeria’s maritime sector (and by extension the country) is now at risk of losing its export operations and earnings to neighboring ports, while repatriated export proceeds are sure to dip further”.

He continued by saying “The time to advocate is now, and we surely must thank PDF Bridge Programme for organising this engagement”.

This roundtable is expected to be a key contribution to the on-going debate on the urgent need to diversify Nigerian economy by adequately incentivizing export through the effective implementation of the EEG.

According to Dr Alaba, PDF-Bridge Trade Policy Expert “The EEG is an incentive that if well administered will encourage more SMEs to participate in export. We have invited critical stakeholders to this roundtable to deliberate and on how EEG can be administered more effectively and efficiently. The PDF-Bridge is putting this roundtable in place to stimulate action and stimulate diversification beyond talks”. “I look forward to the proceedings”, he added.

According to Titi Ojo, Lead Exporter Voices, PDF Bridge “The need to make improvements in the implementation of the EEG to boost the morale of non-oil exporters cannot be over-emphasized. The PDF Bridge Programme through its Trade Policy workstream will continue to bring export stakeholders to the table to address the pressing issues and forge ahead with lasting solutions”

The objectives of the roundtable are to:

1. Provide a forum for relevant stakeholders to discuss the findings from the EEG study and the best approach to utilize the output to improve the administration of the grants in their respective capacities;

2. Through the discussions generate recommendations on necessary reforms, process restructuring, and elimination of various challenges identified in the study;

3. Develop an action plan for prioritising and implementing recommendations from the study as well those identified through the policy roundtable.

Findings from the engagements will be fed back to the relevant government agencies for use in reviewing and redesigning their processes and procedures and to EBES as input into the Trading Across Borders (TAB) reform efforts. It is expected that the outputs from this event would feed into and raise the quality of further interventions of the Trade Work Stream around market access, export competitiveness, and Nigeria’s trade policy.

The PDF Bridge Programme is a 14-month programme that provides direct technical support to the Federal Government of Nigeria, its agencies and independent regulators in key economic sectors. It enhances technical expertise within the public sector, contributing to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. The programme identifies and works with champions of change, and supports them to conceptualise, design and drive important policy and regulatory reforms that strengthen public planning, budgeting and policies for the improved delivery of public goods and services to citizens. The PDF Bridge Programme is part of the wider DFID-funded ‘Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL)’ programme, a five-year public sector accountability programme which is due to end on April 30, 2021.

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