Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank has continued in its quest to promote and catalyze export businesses in Nigeria with the fourth stream of the Export Management Program (EMP) scheduled to hold at the Lagos Business School (LBS) later this month.
The Export Management Program (EMP) is the off-shoot of the collaborative efforts between the bank, LBS and the Mr. Segun Awolowo led Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). It is designed to provide impactful, world-class training needed to improve the competitiveness of Nigerian enterprises, particular export-oriented businesses and the associated value players in the global market. Three streams have held since August 2016 when the program was launched.
Speaking about the EMP, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said “we are doing the tough job of financing SMEs in Nigeria. A sizeable number have export potentials. It was therefore a natural fit for us to partner with the LBS and the NEPC to make this capacity building initiative happen. A well-diversified Nigerian economy is germane to economic growth and development. When the economy grows, businesses flourish and banking thrives better. It’s a win-win for all”.
Recent developments in the global energy market and local oil and gas industry have heightened the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy away from crude oil. Exporting of non-oil commodities and finished products will not only improve Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenue profile but will also help drive employment generation, sustainable poverty reduction and internally generated revenue both at the state and federal levels.
Given the above scenario it is imperative for an exporter or intending one to understand that the rudiments and intricacies of export businesses are getting more challenging, especially given that global competition has become more intensified in terms of quality, price, supply chain management and dependability of delivery systems.
The previous EMP streams were oversubscribed, underscoring the level of significance that people and organizations attach to the program. At the completion of each stream, participants were awarded an Export Manager Certificate, including a post-program Export Marketing Plan project. The curriculum for the program covered areas such as Nigerian exportable items and locations; incentives for exports, domestic policies and export institutions; product development processes for export; exploring solid minerals for export and exporting services. Others included; exporting services, business negotiation skills, roles of government inspection agents, role of Federal Produce Inspection Services; transportation and logistics management, export financing and documentation; and the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Expectedly there have been positive fallouts from this initiative. Each of the streams have formed export co-operatives and are already geared towards doing their first export transaction. Speaking about his experience, Mr. Oyewusi Tajudeen of De Epicurean Limited, said: “The program is knowledge-packed, an eye-opener to the essentials. It is totally worth it. The same sentiments were echoed by Amina Ibrahim of Moonstar Nigeria Limited. “Every session and everyday was better than the last. I highly recommend the program for anyone wanting to venture into exports,” she declared.
Fidelity Bank has over the years, built one of the strongest Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) franchise in the country. Through its free, dedicated (one-on-one/ group) business advisory service offerings and other capacity building initiatives such as SME focused seminars/conferences held across the country, the bank has helped over numerous small businesses raise their level of competitiveness in the international marketplace.