Module 8-: The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is the government agency responsible for regulation, promotion, recording and monitoring of export trade in the country. It is the organ which the government uses to implement its export policies and strategies. When you hear about new exportation policies and incentives for exportation given out by the government, The NEPC is usually in charge of distributing these incentives. The NEPC was established in and has its offices across Nigeria.
The development of any economy is to a large extent tied to the growth of exportation as exportation boosts the economy and creates jobs. It also increases the standard of living of citizens. For a very long time, Nigeria focused on exporting crude oil, forgetting that we are a country blessed with so many other cash crops and minerals that could also be exported. Nigeria was slowly becoming a mono-product economy in spite of its abundant resources.
This brought about the realization and a need for diversification of Nigeria’s export portfolio in order to sustain and grow the economy. This brought about the establishment of a government agency that would help to develop strategies, programs and policies that would increase export of non oil export products in the country.
The NEPC was established as a service unit to offer funding and support to indigenous manufacturing companies and other companies that produce exportable products so that they can get their products into the export market easily. They make it easier for exporters to access the foreign market, identify products that can be exported, understand standardization, specifications and packaging requirements.
How the Nigerian Export Promotion Council Can Help You
The NEPC became even more active under the democratic dispensation. As an exporter, there are several ways through which the NEPC can help and protect your export business. Some of these include-:
1. Provide a list of Exportable Products-: If you are just considering going into export business but you are unsure of what to export; you can visit the NEPC’s website. There, you would find a long list of products that you can export and the countries you can export to. If you have an existing business, you can also find out where you can start exporting your products to through the NEPC. There are also materials that you could download on their website or materials you could picks up from their office that sheds more light on this.
2. The NEPC also provides technical support to exporters in the following areas-:
- Ensure proper documentation of export transactions-: Proper documentation is very important in exportation because it shows proof and provides a legal basis for transactions. The NEPC would let you know which documents you need, how to get them, the need for those documents as well as the places to send the documents to.
- Business Registration -: Before you can carry out exportation business; you have to register with the NEPC. This registration is beneficial for you because the NEPC maintains a database of all Nigerian exporters that overseas buyers can use to find legitimate suppliers. That opens ups another avenue for buyers to reach you and buy products from you.
- Quality and Standards-: The NEPC also monitors the quality and standards of products goings out to ensure that they are of high quality.
- Payment-: The agency also helps you suggest the best and most secure payment methods.
3. Organize Trade Fairs and Exhibitions-: The NEPC also helps to organize and facilitate the participation of Nigerians in international trade fairs and exhibition events. If you are registered with the NEPC and have a solid or innovative product; the NEPC can facilitate your participation in trade fairs and exhibition programs.
4. Bring Exporters together-: The NEPC also creates an avenue for exporters to come together under one umbrella to relate and discuss issues related to export promotion and development. It makes it easier for exporters to network with one another.
5. Provides information on product sourcing-: If you are unsure of where to get particular products for export, you can ask the NEPC for help. They would be able to give you information on where to find the products you are looking for in Nigeria.
6. Administer Grants and Incentives-: If you are registered with the NEPC, then you can easily access some of the grants and incentives that the government doles out regularly to help exporters in the country. Exporters of agricultural products receive a lot of incentives from the government regularly.
7. Help to simplify the export procedure-: If you are new into exportation, it’s easy to get confused and misunderstand the procedure; a visit to the office of the NEPC would help to enlighten you and put things in perspective. The NEPC can assist you such that you don’t have to go through some so-called ‘export gurus’ who charge you thousands just to train you on how to start an exportation business.
8. Carry out research and studies-: The NEPC also carries out regular studies and research into matters concerning exporters and factors that may affect/influence exportation in Nigeria. As an exporter, you can benefit greatly from such research and studies.
9. Help to solve problems-: If at any point in your export business you encounter some challenges or problems; the NEPC is your go-to agency for complaints and solutions to your challenges. If you want to find out if a company/overseas buyer is legitimate or not; you can contact the NEPC who would help you investigate through the buying country’s embassy.
10. Create awareness and publicity-: The NEPC also does a lot of local and international advertisements and promotions which is also directly beneficial to you as an exporter.
11. Provide Financial Support-: Lastly, you can get financial support through the NEPC; although the NEPC might not be able to give you direct loans, they can provide useful information on where to get loans easily for your export business. They may also be able to guarantee a loan for you.
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