Fidelity Bank is sponsoring a training programme aimed at equipping exporters with knowledge about production, value addition, marketing and exportation.
The bank is collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Lagos Business School (LBS) to drive the export business through training and capacity building for stakeholders.
While unveiling the programme at a recent press briefing, the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, disclosed that the bank was supporting the programme to make funds available to exporters having identified access to funding as a major challenge.
He said, “As proof of our strong commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy, we are collaborating with the NEPC and LBS to establish the Export Leadership Institute, the platform on which the Export Management Programme, a flagship export capacity development programme, will run.
“The goal of the programme is to deliver impactful and world-class export management education to equip Nigerian MSMEs with the knowledge and business know-how required to compete effectively in international markets.”
Okonkwo, who disclosed that the month of March and April, had been set aside as ‘export month,’ added that the bank would also support MSMEs that had gone through the programme with appropriate financing solutions to enable them to meet their export financing needs.
“We will also assist them in the area of market access through our expansive linkages and partnerships with various multilateral institutions,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, said the partnership was significant because it was about capacity development which was lacking in the sector.
He said, “People who just get up and go into the export business end up as victims of fraudulent freight forwarders and get into crisis because they don’t understand the process.
“We have our zero to export programme to train exporters but we don’t have capacity to train them properly.
“But with a partnership with LBS financed by Fidelity Bank, we have been able to train and develop more exporters.”
According to Awolowo, Australia adopted the same method to grow its exporters from 4,000 to about 50,000 in one year and also boosted non-oil export in the country.
He identified 11 sectors that would help grow the economy and called for more banks to partner on the programme of training exporters so that the vision of developing the economy could be achieved.
A director at LBS, Dr. Frank Ojadi, said the programme consisted of two parts; one is accelerated programme for experienced exporters and another programme for people going into the business for the first time.