Fidelity Bank Plc, top Nigerian lender, is training over 100 SMEs at the 8th edition of the highly acclaimed Export Management Programme with the aim of providing impactful, world-class support to Micro Small Medium Enterprises in Kano State.
Organised by the bank in strategic partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Lagos Business School, the programme, currently in its third year, was designed specifically to enhance the competitiveness of export-oriented businesses.
The programme has since graduated over 400 entrepreneurs who have transitioned from base level export experience to becoming established exporters with extensive export market footprints.
Since the commencement of the programme in 2017, the bank had always planned to take EMP to other parts of Nigeria where there are critical mass market opportunities for exports.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Mohammed Balarabe, commended the participants for enrolling for the programme, adding that it was smart investment decision in the light of emerging opportunities in the non-oil sector of the economy.
“I am very confident that your business will benefit immensely from the insights and knowledge that the programme provides, with return on investment far exceeding the financial and economic costs of the programme to you” Balarabe said.
Commenting on the rationale behind holding this edition in Kano, Balarabe noted that the decision was borne out of the need to exploit the massive potentials of the positioning of Kano as the hub for aggregation of agro commodities in Northern Nigeria.
“Kano is the hub for agro commodity exports in Northern Nigeria and majority of these exports are done informally. We have brought this Programme closer to you to fully unlock the potentials of the Northern Exports market and help you gain the knowledge required to increase your market access,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Regional Coordinator (North West) for NEPC, Hassan Bala, stated that the EMP 8 will help scale the capacity of existing and potential exporters to enable them participate fully in the non-oil export business in Nigeria.
Bala said: “The faculties we have gathered have the capacity and experience to assist the participants in achieving the target set for the programme. It is an invaluable training programme for all businesses interested in Nigeria’s foreign trade.”
The Programme Coordinator and Lagos Business School Faculty Member, Dr. Frank Ojadi, decried the over dependence of the country’s economy on oil exports.
Ojadi said: “The truth remains that Nigeria’s economy is overly dependent on the oil sector and this makes the prosperity of the economy reliant on crude oil prices. We need to concentrate on development of our non-oil export to increase revenues for the Government and generate employment for the populace.
“We have the natural resources to be a world leader in exportation of several products and it all boils down to the matter of unlocking these potentials. This is one of the major reasons why we partnered with Fidelity Bank and NEPC to create a Programme that not only educates budding exporters, but also enhances the capacity of experienced Exporters to unlock new levels of the Export business. He explained that EMP is designed to equip participants with the knowledge, tools and skills required to develop their export businesses in line with global standards.
“We have held seven editions of this Programme in Lagos and majority of the participants have gone on to develop their Export businesses by leveraging on the information gathered. The facilitators will train the participants on how to package their products, development of supply chain and accessing overseas markets.”
The EMP is one amongst a portfolio of innovative products and verticals that has positioned Fidelity Bank as one of the leading players in the Nigerian Non-Oil Exports space.