By Eunice Orike
Nigeria Export promotion Council NEPC, has expressed dismayed over the absence of Nigerian made goods and entrepreneurs not fully felt in west Africa, despite the huge opportunities that Nigeria can boost within the region.
Executive director of NEPC, Ezra Yakusak, who said this revealed that the Council has concluded plans to hold an exhibition of Made-in-Nigeria goods in Ivory Coast Cote D’Ivoire.
According to him, the Ivorian market serves as the centre to penetrate other francophone market in the region.
While launching the Made in Nigeria Exhibition (MINE,and Nigeria-Cote D’Ivoire Excellent Award organised by SCIAYO and Ecomarkket in Abuja, Yakusak said the exhibition will prepare Nigerian manufacturers of exportable goods to have full knowledge of the market environment for easy market access and growth.
He stressed that Nigeria needs to have a grip of the West African market before extending to the other African market, especially with the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA.
The NEPC DG while noting that Cote D’Ivoire market has huge potentials for Made in Nigerian products, added that ECOWAS has an estimated population of over 350 Million with a GDP of $1.48 trillion , which he described as an untalented potential.
He informed the audience that the NEPC launched an Export Trade House in Cairo, Egypt to help position the made in Nigerian brand within the ECOWAS sub-region and Africa as a whole.
Yakusak said the trade house would enhance the visibility of Made-in-Nigerian products outside the Nigerian shores to reduce the cost of logistics on Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs, increase Nigeria share in the targeted markets; create employment opportunities for teeming youths; and increase forex inflow into the Nigerian economy.
In his remarks, Traore Kalilou, Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to Nigeria reiterated the readiness of the country to partner with Nigeria for trade expansion.
“My country is increasingly interested in strengthening trade and investment with Nigeria, in particular because of the dynamism of our economies . We believe that the exhibition could become one of the important instruments for strengthening economic exchanges between the two countries,” he said.