The managing director and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo has said that the bank collaborated with the Lagos Business School (LBS), and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Export Management Programme (EMP) to diversify the Nigerian economy from over dependence on oil.
Speaking in Lagos at the commemoration of one-year of collaboration in EMP and the graduation of fifth stream titled EMP5 (2017 Series), Okonkwo who was represented by the deputy managing director, Mr. Mohammed Balarabe, explained that the event was organised to show achievements in the programme, setup to fill the knowledge gap in the line of export, and prepare sets of managers who will export competitive products that will make social impact in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
He said it was obvious that there was a wide gap in the knowledge of export, hence the key factor behind the creation of the EMP.
“Fidelity Bank, NEPC, and LBS thought it wise to find a way of how we can come together and make our contribution toward diversification of the Nigeria’s economy away from dependency on oil revenue, and that was how we came about the EMP.
“Beyond financing this programme as a financial institution, we also work towards getting financing solutions to export and marketing products, and provide advisory services to ensure that we achieve that goal of diversifying the Nigerian economy from over dependency on oil,” he said.
He maintained that the programme will help Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to compete globally.
In her speech, the dean of LBS, Dr. Enase Okonedo, said the institution was preparing persons who will not just export products and services, but ones that are competitive within the African landscape.
“Those we prepare won’t only export competitive products, but products that will always make a social impact; we believe that any business the person ventures into should provide profit and also change the social members of the community.
“We believe that this programme should have an impact all over the continent, though we are focusing on Nigeria for now but, our hope and expectations is that we will move this programme to create an impact that is beyond Nigeria, which will shake the business waves around the continent,” she said.
Okonedo who was represented by the director of MBA programmes, Dr. Uchenna Uzo stated that 250 participants had so far taken part in the programme and “many of them have retransformed their businesses, while some have moved on to export and some turned to cooperative unions.”
Also speaking, the chief executive officer of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, noted that most times, export is not being recognised.
Awolowo who was represented by the southwest regional coordinator of NEPC, Mr. Faleke Babatunde said also said challenges in the business, especially in the knowledge gap stop people from venturing into the multifaceted export business without knowing what it takes.
“Here, we are partners with LBS, and Fidelity Bank, and it has been awesome because it’s one that we all are feeling- Fidelity Bank came to support the funding, while the LBS came to support the technical issues,” he said.