From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
As part of its mandate to create a more competitive Nigerian economy, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and The Tony Elumelu Foundation have entered into a one-year partnership in efforts to help improve Nigeria’s share of the global, non-oil export market. Under the new agreement, the Foundation has provided NEPC with a technical advisor, Maureen Ideozu, through its Elumelu Fellowship Programme. In addition, two associates from the Elumelu Professionals Programme-Lawi Laktabai (a Congolese) and Jean-Yves Mutanda (from Kenya) are also working with key NEPC officers to increase Nigeria’s export of agricultural products. On this partnership, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council stated, “NEPC is benefitting from the public good initiative of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The consistent input from the embedded Elumelu Fellow and visiting “Masters” interns are of tremendous value to the strategic repositioning of the Council. I am very pleased with this partnership as we jointly work towards the socio-economic development of our country and the diversification of our economy.” Among her numerous responsibilities, Ms. Ideozu will work directly with Mr. Awolowo, to increase Nigerian private sector participation in global trade and liaise with the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, other government agencies, as well as private sector organizations to implement the NEPC’s strategic plan. “The Elumelu Fellowship offers me an opportunity to contribute to increased competitiveness in Nigeriaby unlocking opportunities for Nigerian companies in a manner that equips them to compete globally,” stated Ideozu.
According to Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, “Our organization is committed to implementing solutions that will improve the operating environment for Africa’s private sector. The NEPC is a key partner in meeting our long-term objectives because it is the Nigerian government’s primary institution for export development and promotion.