By Emmanuel Acha
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says it trained no fewer than 6, 500 entrepreneurs in six Community Trade Groups in Enugu State in 2020.
The Southeast Regional Coordinator of the council, Mr Arnold Jackson, disclosed this on Tuesday, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.
Jackson said that notable among the trade groups that were trained was the Cashew Community Trade Group in Udenu Local Government Area of the state.
He said that no fewer than 6,000 members of three trade groups, namely, farmer group, processor group and pickers were trained under the cashew value chain.
Jackson said that the move was in line with the diversification policy of the Federal Government.
The coordinator said that the council had in line with its one state one product policy, identified Enugu State as having comparative advantage in cashew production.
He said that such policy was aimed at empowering entrepreneurs to enable them to participate in the promotion of non-oil export in Nigeria.
Jackson, however, said that the state was also doing well in cassava production and spices, adding that the various programmes of NEPC had impacted positively on the active entrepreneurs in the state.
He said that the council would give the operators of small scale businesses the needed exposure to explore international markets.
The coordinator said that with the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), goods produced by local entrepreneurs would in principle reach no fewer than 1.2 billion people in about 54 countries.
He said that the AfCFTA was a noble initiative aimed at increasing the volume of trade among African countries, which currently stands at about 20 per cent.
“With the AfCFTA, local entrepreneurs can choose to supply about 90 per cent of their goods in the international market and reserve 10 per cent for the local market,” Jackson said.
The coordinator said that the council, as part of its efforts to encourage local entrepreneurs in the state, had concluded arrangements for the establishment of Export Promotion Clubs in the state.