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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

NEPC to establish cashew processing plant in Ogbomosho



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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says it has concluded plans for the establishment of a cashew processing plant in Ogbomosho, Oyo State.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said this on Monday in Abuja at the presentation of the first half-year progress report on the non-oil export performance for 2023.

Yakusak said that the development was in line with the council’s mandate and efforts to strengthen its value-addition campaign.

“NEPC under its export development programme for priority products has concluded plans for the establishment of a cashew processing plant in Ogbomosho, Oyo State on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement,’’ he said.

According to Yakusak, this is predicated on the fact that Ogbomosho cashew is globally acknowledged as a brand for good quality and thereby highly sought after in the international market.

“We have since commenced processes towards setting up the processing plant,” he added.

On the inclusion of export promotion in the curriculum of Nigerian universities, Yakusak said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would soon be signed between NEPC and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

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The NEPC boss said that the course when introduced would go a long way in enabling undergraduates to become employers of labour and be self-reliant after graduation.

“This initiative will further complement the efforts of NEPC at promoting the “Export4Survival Campaign’’ which is targeted at increasing the export of Nigeria’s non-oil products,” he said.

Pursuant to the Council’s commitment to ensure Nigerian products have easy access to international markets, he said that NEPC inaugurated an Export Trade House (ETH) in Hunan Province, China in April 19, 2023.

According to Yakusak, this is part of NEPC’s efforts to increase the export of Made-in-Nigeria products to China.

He said: “The establishment of the ETH is a collaborative effort between the NEPC and Zeenab Foods Limited under a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement.

““With the opening of the China ETH, the Council has launched and operationalised a total number of four ETHs which are located in Cairo, Egypt, Lome in Togo, Nairobi in Kenya and China.

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“Plans are underway to establish another ETH in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)”.

Yakusak said that NEPC has ensured the disbursement of N308.45billion promissory notes to 199 exporting companies.

“Following the approval of the Federal Government, the disbursement to 199 exporting companies under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme has since been completed,’’ Yakusak said.

He said that Nigeria’s non-oil exports in the first half of 2023 generated 2.539 billion dollars as against 2.593 billion dollars for the corresponding period of 2022.

“From these figures, it is apparent that a slight decrease of 0.09 per cent was recorded in the period under review.

“The sector recorded a dip in value of export in the first half-year of 2023 due to the general elections and changes in global economic conditions,’’ Yakusak said.

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