Nigeria is poised to boost its non-oil exports leveraging the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network.
The network, which was recently inaugurated, is geared towards increasing the volume of trade within the region.
Mr Segun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, is also the inaugural President of the ECOWAS TPOs.
The NEPC has started repositioning the nation’s export through the implementation of its N50 billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP).
The EEFP is a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) whose development and implementation is being led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
EEFP is expected to significantly raise the volume of non-oil exports in Nigeria, and it is a spin-off of the Zero Oil Plan developed by NEPC and approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
Besides providing financial support for the average Nigerian exporter, the EEFP will engender the establishment of top-notch warehouses in the country, close to airports where Nigerian goods meant for export would be packaged to global competitive standards ahead of their exportation.
The EEFP, in line with the ESP, is focused on cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the non-oil export sector, thereby safeguarding jobs and creating new ones.
Earlier in March, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, inaugurated the EEFP and the first online Grant Management Portal (GMP) for non-oil exports.
While the EEFP is being implemented by the NEPC, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the supervisory body over the agency and its operations.
The programme anticipated 500 beneficiaries since the inauguration but it has received more than 3,500 applications for the grant, out of which more than 2,000 were verified after meeting the eligibility criteria.
Federal Government officials say further details and plans on disbursement to final successful beneficiaries are being awaited.
More so, Adebayo said that aside being an intervention to save and create jobs, the programme would support resilience in shoring up foreign exchange, diversification, modernisation of Nigeria’s economy and acceleration of economic growth and economic support.
Under the EEPF, there are 16 programmes as approved in the Implementation Work plan under seven work streams.
The work streams are Capacity Building, Emergency Interventions, Export Aggregation, Export Inclusion, Export Trade facilitation, Institutional Strengthening and Market Development.
The Emergency Intervention is to support existing exporters in responding to shocks caused by COVID-19, while Market Development involves penetrating identified export markets as value chain analysis for priority products, leveraging Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and other trade treaties.
Considering the significant role it plays in growing the Nigerian economy, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector is the target group of support from the EEFP and the Export Development Fund (EDF).
At the recent inauguration of the TPO Network, Osinbajo said that there was need to expand intra-regional trade in the ECOWAS sub-region, with the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
On his part, Awolowo had said that the network would work towards facilitating the ease of trade for MSMEs within the ECOWAS region and Africa in general. (NAN)
Senate Confirms Appointment Of Cardoso, Others As CBN Governor And Deputies
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and four others as Deputy Governors of the apex bank.
They were confirmed on Tuesday following a screening by the upper legislative body.
The deputy governors who were confirmed are Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.
“The nomination of Olayemi Cardoso is hereby confirmed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Senate President Godswill Akpabio said.
Before their confirmation, the nominees had answered questions on matters related to economic and other policies.
During the screening, Cardoso promised to embrace compliance, assuring that under his leadership, the apex bank would remain apolitical.
“I believe that the Central Bank under our watch will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance,” he said.
“We will not wait for oversight to come and tell us what to do. We will ensure that by the time the system is passing through us, we catch it and we deal with it,” said Cardoso who promised zero tolerance for abuse of compliance.
“That is a cultural shift, a change in mindset, but we will make sure it happens,” the former Citibank Nigeria chairman assured.
Cardoso’s confirmation comes weeks after President Bola Tinubu nominated him as the acting CBN governor and four others as deputies.
He assumed office last week, replacing the then-acting governor of the CBN Folashodun Shonubi.
The recent appointments followed the suspension and resignation of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank boss. The Delta-born began his reign in 2014 but got backlash owing to the naira redesign policy.
Emefiele, who was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) but released on bail, is being tried on an alleged N6.9b fraud.
Senate Screens CBN Governor, Deputies Today – Bamidele
The Senate will on Tuesday screen former Chairman of the Board of Citi Bank Nigeria, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The senate will also screen four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, who will join forces with Cardoso to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.
In a statement by the Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate will screen all the nominees following its resumption from its annual recess.
The statement said: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will resume plenary on Tuesday, September 26. We will consider the screening of Dr. Cardoso at the Committee of the whole.
“Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”
On September 15, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also approved the nomination of four deputy governors for a term of five years each at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CBN Confirms Emefiele’s Resignation As Cardoso Assumes Office
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the resignation of Mr Godwin Emefiele as its governor, three months after being suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu.
Emefiele was thereafter quizzed by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) who later charged him to court.
Following his suspension, the Federal Government appointed Mr Folashodun Shonubi, the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), to oversee the affairs of the apex bank.
In a statement by the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, the government said Emefiele’s suspension from office was due to an ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector.
However, on September 15, Tinubu nominated Olayemi Cardoso as the new CBN Governor, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.
“President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement.
Corroborating this, the apex bank issued a statement on Friday, announcing the assumption of office by the acting governor.
The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, said Cardoso will act as governor pending his confirmation by the parliament.
“Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, recently nominated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has on Friday, September 22, 2023, formally assumed duty, in an acting capacity, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), pending his confirmation by the Senate. This follows the resignation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement said.
The bank also said that the “Deputy-Governors-Designate have also assumed duty, in acting capacities, sequel to the formal resignation of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governors of the CBN.”
Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria. He is a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.
With diverse corporate governance experience, Mr Cardoso has also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
He served in government as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.
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