Lagos – Mr Segun Awolowo, the Director-General of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said the council would create about 1.5 million jobs in the next five years with its Nigerian Diaspora Export Programme (NDEX).
Awolowo made this known on Tuesday at Stakeholders Workshop organised by the council in Lagos.
Awolowo was represented at the occasion by Mr Olusegun Faleke, the Southwest Regional Head of the council.
He said that the NDEX had been part of the council’s efforts to rebrand the image of Nigeria outside the shores, thereby generating more revenue for the nation.
“There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that Nigerians living in the diaspora are expected to play in this programme.
“This is because about 15 million Nigerians are living abroad, generating about 21 billion dollars so far as recorded by World Bank in 2013.
“Now this is just a paper work, it is likely the population of Nigerians living abroad are more than that.
“The NDEX Programme is one that seeks to leverage on the presence of Nigerians in Diaspora using their advantage of creating a strong “External Demand Pull’’ for indigenous foods, fashion and other products.
“We have emphasised on key areas and they are the Nigerian Heritage City (NHC), the Nigerian Cuisine beyond Borders (NCBB) and the Diaspora Export of Non-Oil Products (DENOP).
“The NHC seeks to create a formalised hub where Nigerian products and services will be displayed just like we have back home in Nigeria.’’
According to him, this will be established in countries where there is a large concentration of Nigerians like the United States and London and will be similar to the China Towns that we have today.
“The NCBB, which entails the cuisine, would also rebrand the Nigerian foods from the packaging and cooking to meet up with international standards and world cuisine brands we know today
All these sub-programmes under this NDEX would create not less than 1.5 million jobs for Nigerians both within and outside the country because it will definitely increase non-oil exports.”
Awolowo said the programme would bring about high value addition to non-oil products and services in Nigeria at a time when the nation needed to revive its manufacturing, agricultural and industrial sectors.
He said the programme would spur the utilisation of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Export Development Fund (EDF)
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NEPC director general in January said that Nigeria would soon increase its non-oil export earnings to 30 billion dollars. (NAN)