Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc, is set to celebrate the first anniversary of its highly acclaimed Export Management Programme (EMP).
Launched in 2016, the EMP is a sector focused capacity building programme run by Fidelity Bank in partnership with the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), and the Nigerian Export Promotions Council (NEPC), to deliver impactful, world-class export management education to aspiring and existing players in the non-oil export sector of the Nigerian economy.
The programme, which prepares participants for effective play in the international non-oil export markets in particular and the larger export markets in general, has continued to raise the bar of capacity building in exports in Nigeria.
Its unique curriculum is structured to take participants through courses bordering strategically on product development for export; developing linkages with customers in importing countries; and understanding the various export processes. These include accompanying documentation and other requirements in Nigeria and key importing countries; export products storage; quality assurance, branding and packaging, sourcing and supply chain management, logistics and shipping, export finance, business ethics and many more.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who gave valuable insights into the rationale behind establishing the EMP, said the lender remains highly committed to aiding the diversification of Nigeria’s mono-economy particularly through import substitution and export promotion.
“We finance a lot of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. A number of these MSMEs have strong export potential. It was therefore a natural fit for us to partner with the Lagos Business School (LBS), and 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,” he said.
In addition, Okonkwo emphasized the need to boost non-oil exports and build sustainable non-oil exports capability, which he affirmed is now at the heart of Nigeria’s diversification strategy.
He explained: “Exporting not only improves foreign exchange (FX) earnings, but countries most successful in exports have stronger links to wealth creation, employment generation and sustainable poverty reduction.”
Four streams of the EMP have since been held since 2016 whilst efforts are in top gear to host the fifth stream (EMP 5) which has been scheduled for Monday, 25th September to Friday, 29th September, 2017.
A statement from the Bank said: “EMP 5 comes heavily loaded as it is coinciding with the first anniversary of the EMP initiative, which has uniquely positioned it to have woven around it, a number of the key activities already slated for the commemoration of this first anniversary of the programme.”
It further said the EMP 5 will, in addition to its usual focus areas, also seek to shed significant light on key policies/programmes recently released by government to boost non-oil exports and in particular, how intending exporters can take advantage of them.
Some of these recent policies include the Investors and Exporters FX Window announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) a few months back, which allows exporters to sell their FX proceeds at market rates as opposed to the official CBN rate. Also, shippers are required to ensure that bills of lading in respect of exports from Nigeria carry the Form NXP number of the underlying cargo to ensure that all exports from Nigeria are carried out through the formal channels.
The reputation of the EMP as the must-attend, focused capacity building programme for aspiring and existing exporters in the Nigerian market has continued to be attested to by testimonials from participants of previous streams of the programme.
For example, Fidel Buchi Anyi, an EMP 4 participant said: “This is the direction banking in Nigeria should go – Giving before asking; strategically helping small businesses before requesting for accounts!”
Similarly, Etinighovwa Richard, another EMP 4 participant described the programme as: “a very rich, enlightening and professional programme delivered by a world-class institution,” adding that “I learnt the fundamentals of export management with regards to Nigeria and key foreign markets.”
In fact, Adesola E. of EMP 1, said: “The EMP is very informative. It has saved me from potential pitfalls in my export business.”
The bank emphasized that it intends to continue to strengthen the EMP in collaboration with its partners, to ensure it retains its strong position in the market as the platform of choice for capacity building in the exports area.