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April 22, 2024
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SheTrades Nigeria Hub Interactive Session with the WTO and ITC  in Abuja.

SheTrades Nigeria: NEPC urges more WTO, ITC support for women

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By Lucy Ogalue

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has urged more support from the World Trade organisation (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), to boost women led export businesses in the country.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Nonye Ayeni said this at the SheTrades Nigeria Hub Interactive Session with the WTO and ITC  in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SheTrades Nigeria Hub was initiated  in 2016 to deliver tailored capacity building and business generation activities for women in Nigeria.

Ayeni said, “we will also use this opportunity to appeal to WTO and ITC for more support for the interest of the women and interest of Nigeria in general.

“I thank the WTO and indeed ITC team for your support over the years, a lot has been done.

“I appreciate your contributions to the success of NEPC and the success of Nigeria, especially as it relates to export and what you have done specifically for women.

“We have seen women who were not doing anything and suddenly they are able to provide for their families.

“We all know that once you train a women, you have trained a community, you have trained a whole nation. So kudos to all the women, lets leverage on this opportunity and make sure that we do our best’’.

SheTrades Nigeria

According to Ayeni, the focus of the event is to strengthen further, the partnership between WTO, IiTC and NEPC as the host-implementing agency for the SHE Trade hub.

“Through this collaboration, we are working with the private and public sector and women in export development programme have recorded some successes.

“In terms of provision of better trade, opportunities for women engagement with women to build a support network and access to information and resources for women led Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Knowledge and experience sharing for successful female exporters to provide guidance and mentorship for upcoming women entrepreneurs among others.

“I am delighted to say that since 2016, the NEPC has registered 29,000 exporters while almost about 8, 000 are women and the numbers are increasing’’.

While reiterating other programmes by the council for women, Ayeni said over 4,000 women had benefited from the SheTrade programme, which was a game changer that would be leveraged on.

Meanwhile, the WTO Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okojo-Iweala, emphasised the importance of trade to economic development of any nation.

“Trade has helped to lift more than one billion people in the world out of poverty.

“A research we have done at the World Trade Organisation shows that women who export earn almost three times more than those who sell domestic goods.

“So being able to export increases your well -being, your living standards, your income, and you can help your family and the nation more.

“And that is why we came to Nigeria to inaugurate a series of programmes that we hope will be beneficial to the country, including our women,’’ she said.

SheTrades Nigeria

According to Okojo-Iweala, one of the most important things to consider in export is meeting certain standards and quality expectations of a country.

The WTO director-general reiterated the commitment of the organisation in supporting women businesses to achieve standardisation and get certification for their exported products.

Okonjo-Iweala recalled that the organisation recently inaugurated a 50 billion dollar fund programme aimed at helping women trading digitally.

“So many people are trading digitally, e-commerce, what we are trying to do is to use this one to help you add a scale of your business; improve the quality of what you doing.

“So I implore you not to get discouraged because I know you meet all kinds of obstacles along the way,’’ she said.

For her part, the Deputy Executive Director, ITC, Dorathy Tembo, also reiterated the importance of trade.

According to her, no country has been able to develop without substantial trade and Nigeria is not left out.

She expressed willingness of the ITO to continue to partner with Nigeria to ensure standard and certification of their exported agricultural products. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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