The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has charged youths to tap into the numerous opportunities in the non-oil export value chain to better their lives and improve the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Trade Promotion Advisor, Ado Ekiti Export Assistance Office, NEPC, Mrs Iyabode Abe, said this would reverse the ugly trend of the high unemployment rate and crime among youths and graduates, and have positive ripples effect on the country’s economy.
Abe spoke in Ado Ekiti at a one-day ‘Export Awareness Workshop for Youth Entrepreneurs in Ekiti State’, attended by youth groups and members of the National Youths Service Corps.
He charged them to key into the council’s Youth Export Development Programme, a platform for the mainstreaming of youth into the non-oil export value chain.
The advisor, who said the workshop was to encourage youth to participate in the global market to create employment and boost non-oil export trade in Nigeria, listed areas they could harness to include “production and export of semi and finished products; and export of agro commodities such as cocoa, ginger, sesame seed, gum arabic, hibiscus flower, cashew nuts” etc
Others, she said, included export of services such as Information and Communication Technology; music and entertainment industry; sporting activities; creative industry – audio visuals (films and arts, tourism and hospitality industry; commodity sourcing; products development; market development; electronics and print media; and education and financial services.
She said NEPC had carried out series of sectoral capacity development such as ‘She Trade’ meant for the inclusion of women in non-oil export as well as Youth in the Export as an avenue to involve youth in the export drive of the council.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Youths Development, Michael Awopetu, who lauded the NEPC for exposing young ones to how to better their lives, described the sensitisation workshop as an “opportunity for the youths to take their destinies into their hands”.
Awopetu, who said youth constituted about 60 per cent of the population of Ekiti State, advised them to “take advantage of the opportunities available in the export value chain to better your lives. Put on your thinking caps on how you can get engaged and add value to your lives and Nigeria”.
The state Commissioner for Trade and Industries counterpart, Muyiwa Olumilua, said integrating youths, whom he described as the most productive component of the national population, into the non-oil export programme would create better means of livelihood for them.
Olumilua said, “The Nigerian youth is one of the greatest assets in the country in her economic diversification agenda. All interested youth are therefore encouraged to make use of this golden opportunity to be gainfully employed.”