Gombe State Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) have begun a two-day training for exporters, to boost the non-oil sector and contribute to the economic base of the state.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya, stated this at the inauguration of the training exercise on Wednesday in Gombe.
Yahaya said that the exercise would help to open up opportunities for exporters to harness and improve their wellbeing towards diversifying the economy of the state.
He described the potentialities in exporting agricultural produce as huge, adding that it had the capacity to provide employment for youths as well as encourage industrial development.
The governor said that farmers would not make enough money if cash crops like cotton, soyabeans, sesame were not exported to grow their income.
According to him, the training is to expose participants to the production, processing and exporting of these cash crops, to provide alternative sources of revenue and diversify the economy from being oil-dependent.
Yahaya said that the Federal Government had set aside money to assist those that would be trained, to boost export and enhance wealth generation in the country.
He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries of the empowerment to utilise such interventions judiciously.
The governor called on the participants to pay more attention to the training so as to benefit maximally and help grow their income as well as the economy of the state.
Earlier, Mr Mustapha Umar, Head, NEPC in Gombe State, commended the state government for efforts toward making the state an export hub, noting that his council would support such effort to achieve its objectives.
Umar said that some businesses in the state had benefited from the export development grant, adding that more would benefit from the gesture to boost exports and processing of agricultural produce.
In his remarks, Mr Bashir Aliyu, the consultant in charge of the training exercise, said that 150 participants would be trained on how to engage in export of agricultural produce and other minerals.
Aliyu said that the training was in line with the government’s diversification agenda from oil to non-oil sector, to boost revenue and employment generation as well as enhance wealth creation in the society.
According to him, the Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank is operating a N200 billion Fund to assist merchants with loans on a five per cent interest rate, as an intervention from the government.
He said the collaboration between the Federal Government and Gombe State in training the merchants on export, would increase the volume of export and processing in the country.
One of the participant, Mr Hassan Maina, commended the gesture, adding that the agricultural value chain would benefit from the scheme.