Fidelity Bank Plc has expressed readiness to support the Federal Government’s non-oil sector diversification drive with an Export Management Programme to boost foreign exchange earnings.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Managing Director, said this while speaking at the EMP Stream Five Initiative at the Lagos Business School.
EMP, launched in 2016, is a sector focused capacity building programme initiative of Fidelity Bank, LBS and the Nigerian Export Promotions Council.
The programme is meant to deliver impactful and world-class export management education to aspiring and existing players in the non-oil export sector of the economy.
Okonkwo represented by Mohammed Balarabe, the bank’s deputy Managing Director, said the bank would aid the country diversification away from oil with the export capacity development platform.
He said the financial institution remained highly committed to aiding the diversification of the country’s monolithic economy, particularly through import substitution and export promotion.
Okonkwo stressed the need to boost non-oil exports and build sustainable non-oil exports capability, which he affirmed was now at the heart of the country’s diversification strategy.
“Exporting not only improves foreign exchange earnings, but countries most successful in exports have stronger links to wealth creation, employment generation and sustainable poverty reduction,” he added.
Okonkwo noted that the EMP was established to fill the big export knowledge gap to enable people understand export processes.
He said: “We finance a lot of micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. A number of these MSMEs have strong export potential.
“It is, therefore a natural fit for us to partner the LBS and the NEPC to make this happen given in particular, recent developments in the global oil markets and the impact they have had on the Nigerian economy.”
Okonkwo added that the bank, through the programme, prepared participants for effective play in the international non-oil export markets in particular and the larger export markets in general.
Okonkwo added that EMP had continued to raise the bar of capacity building in exports in the country, noting that, about 300 participants had graduated from the programme.
He said the bank would work towards getting financial solution to export and as well provide advisory services to develop the non-oil sector.
Dr. Enase Okonedo, the Dean of LBS, said the institution was very keen in preparing managers that would lead socio-economic managers in Africa.
Okonedo, represented by Dr. Uche Uzo, Member LBS Management Board and MBA Director, commended the bank for the timely initiative that would boost export opportunities.
She said the institution was committed to the initiative and would prepare people that would export competitive products within Africa and beyond.
Okonedo said the initiative would offer LBS the opportunity to help in socio-economic development of the country.
She added that the programme would shape the way of doing business in the country and beyond.
Okonedo said the school had received several international accreditations in recognition of the quality of its programmes structured in line with global best practices.
Olusegun Awolowo, the Chief Executive Officer NEPC, lauded the bank for the programme aimed at filling the export processes gap of the country.
Awolowo said export was not all about product, but involvement of value-chains that needed to be filled such as warehousing, haulage, among others.
He charged the participants to identify the needed gap in export business that they could fill for growth and development of the country.
Four streams of the EMP have since been held since 2016, while the fifth stream (EMP 5) are presently undergoing training at the LBS.