Lagos, Nigeria, March 2020 — The Policy Development Facility (PDF II) launches the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN) at a grand finale event tagged the “Non-Oil Export Conference and Awards” (NECA)

After 5 years of providing targeted assistance and support to Nigeria’s champions of change across the Federal Government to implement economic and social reforms that has led to poverty reduction, the PDF II will be closing out with a grand finale event on Thursday, 5th March, 2020 at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites, VI, Lagos. Tagged the “Non-Oil Export Conference and Awards” (NECA), this event will also serve as a unique platform to officially launch the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), a body that will continue to champion advocacy and capacity development in the non-oil export space after PDF II closes.

According to the PDF II Programme Manager, Dr Titilola Akindeinde, “PDF II through its trade policy workstream have empowered under-represented exporter voices through its dialogue series and capacity development sessions which has enabled them to participate more in the non-oil export value chain. We also supported the creation of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), a body set-up to sustain the gains initiated by the trade Workstream to ensure that the voices of non-oil exporters would continue to be heard in a sustainable manner.”

“The Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria, NPNEN, cannot have come at a better time. The realities of today’s global economy strongly support a coercive rather than individualistic approach to problem solving. Even for the facilitation of global supply chain management where Nigeria could actually harness a series of comparative advantages, it is better to deal with the collective, rather than the individual” observed Femi Boyede, Chairman, Non-oil Community of Practice and Certified Exporter. “NPNEN will leverage on the diversity of its membership and full representation from every segment of the non-oil export value chain to periodically provide the relevant agencies of Government with research and evidence-based inputs into the development of virile policies and programs to foster the nation’s export performance. PDFII has really done well to bequeath this all-important umbrella body to Nigeria’s non-oil export sector.”

The proposed theme of NECA is “Growing Non-oil Export business in Nigeria: The strategic imperatives”. The event will open policy discourse to policy influencers/champions of change in government and the private sector as well as underserved small and medium export value chain actors, and potentially other new voices. The organizers of the event believe that this event will lead to an improved ease of doing business for SMEs in global trade. And as Nigeria seeks to diversify its economy and with more SMEs participating in Export, more jobs will be created, and livelihoods improved.

Trade Policy Expert, Dr Olumuyiwa Alaba, reiterated this by saying, “Non-oil export is the sustainable route to survival of nation currently heavily dependent on exhaustible resource like ours. The earlier our regulatory institutions begin to think about trade facilitation beyond absolute focus on regulation the better for employment generation, poverty alleviation and inclusive growth.”

The 1-day event which will cover 3 plenary sessions, the non-oil export awards, and exhibitions has private sector organisations, relevant government agencies, trade associations, development partners, senate and national assembly, embassies and diplomatic community, along with other actors in the non-oil export value chain as participants of the dialogue. This will no doubt enable underrepresented export oriented voices in economic policy, as well as strengthen exporter groups’ participation in trade sustainably.

Speaking about the event, Titilope Ojo, Lead Exporter Voices said, “This Non-oil Conference and Award event will be a unique opportunity to have all stakeholders in the non-oil value chain represented to discuss the success and growth of non-oil export in Nigeria.” She added that policy issues will be addressed and the government will be able to act on the recommendations. “This event will also provide an opportunity to reward businesses that have distinguished themselves in contribution to the growth and development of the non-oil sector” she said.

PDF II is confident that heads of government MDAs and policy makers such as members of the legislative bodies will greatly benefit from this conference as it will better equip them to drive trade policy reforms. Non-oil export value chain actors and private sector organisations can also use the discussions at the conference to drive advocacy for business environment reforms at every level.

“I look forward to PDF II’s conference and awards ceremony taking place on Thursday in Lagos.” said Segun Awolowo. “PDF II has been a great success and I look forward to continued collaboration with the UK’s DFID on promoting the non-oil export sector in Nigeria” he added.

Dr Titilola Akindeinde concluded by saying, “We are therefore excited to welcome our invited guests to the Non-oil Conference and Award event as we launch the NPNEN and recognise the effort of those that have contributed to promoting non-oil export in Nigeria.”

About Policy Development Facility Phase II: PDF II is a flexible, rapid-response programme funded by DFID. The primary objective of PDF II is to provide targeted assistance to support Nigeria’s champions of change across the Federal Government to implement economic and social reforms that lead to poverty reduction.

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