The Fidelity Bank, Lagos Business School (LBS), and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), have successfully marked one-year of collaboration in Export Management Programme (EMP), and the graduation of fifth stream titled EMP5 (2017 Series).
The collaboration is in a quest to support the diversification of the nation’s economy, and save it from high dependence on the oil sector, while encouraging non-oil exports.The event, which took place at the LBS, was organised to show their achievements in the programme, setup to fill the knowledge gap in the line of export, and prepare sets of managers who will export competitive products that will make social impact in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
The Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was represented by the Deputy Managing Director, Mohammed Balarabe, said it was obvious that there was a wide gap in the knowledge of export, hence the key factor behind the creation of this programme a year ago..
“Fidelity Bank, NEPC, and LBS thought is wise to find a way of how we can come together and make our contribution toward diversification of the Nigeria’s economy away from dependency on oil revenue, and that was how we came about the EMP.
“Beyond financing this programme as a financial institution, we also work towards getting financing solutions to export and marketing products, and provide advisory services to ensure that we achieve that goal of diversifying the Nigerian economy from over dependency on oil,” he said.
He maintained that the programme will help Nigerian SMEs and MSMEs to compete globally.The Dean of LBS, Enase Okonedo, represented by the school’s Director of MBA Programmes, Uchenna Uzo, said the institution is preparing people who will not just export products and services, but ones that are competitive within the African landscape.
“Those we prepare won’t only export competitive products, but products that will always make a social impact; we believe that any business the person ventures into should provide profit and also change the social members of the community.
“We believe that this programme should have an impact all over the continent, though we are focusing on Nigeria for now but, our hope and expectations is that we will move this programme to create an impact that is beyond Nigeria, which will shake the business waves around the continent,” Okonedo added.
She maintained that 250 participants have taken part in this programme so far and, many of them have retransformed their businesses, while some have moved on to export and some turned to cooperative unions.
The Chief Executive Officer NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, who was represented by Regional Coordinator, South West, Faleke Babatunde, also noted that most times, export is not being recognised, even though the challenges in the business, especially in the knowledge gap, prevents one from venturing into multifaceted export without knowing what it takes.
“Here, we are partners with LBS, and Fidelity Bank, and it has been awesome because it’s one that we all are feeling- Fidelity Bank came to support the funding, while the LBS came to support the technical issues.”The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, represented by Head, Development Finance Office, CBN Lagos, Adebisi Adedeji, said despite the fact that the core function of the CBN is that of price stability, the apex bank has almost always gone beyond that.
According to him, to establish and ensure monetary stability as well as sound financial system, access to credit in every sector of the economy must be made, as not all sectors can compete with the others favourably.
“Agriculture used to controls 65 per cent of the country’s economy,but over decades now it’s been always below three to four per cent. We have now engaged in different facets of development financing to promote agricultural exports and made sure that exchange rates has been stable and provided a window for SME’s to access funds.”