ODSG assures readiness to facilitate funds for exporters
By Roseline Okakah
Ondo State Government has declared its readiness to engage banks to leverage their influence to facilitate funding for aspiring exporters.
The State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Akinwunmi Sowore, made this known at a stakeholders’ engagement for development of Ondo State Export Strategy and Guidelines held in Akure.
He charged stakeholders to focus on locally grown products and raw materials and emphasized the need to grade the products for exportation to promote the state’s rich mineral resources for international recognition and revenue generation.
While disclosing that the initiative was from the Presidency to enhance exportation in the country, he added that the programme is aimed at improving trade and commerce and to reduce the reliance of the state on oil revenue.
Earlier, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Mrs Funmilayo Akinola emphasized the need for an export policy to elevate the State’s position in the global market.
“Nigeria is facing a lot of challenges because we have not been able to earn enough foreign currencies to develop our economy,” she noted.
While stressing the importance of standardized products and capacity building, Akinola urged stakeholders to actively participate in capacity-building to ensure their products meet international standards to foster global acceptance.
“We have all these non-oil products in Ondo State and we need to start looking into those products, considering value addition which will create jobs, boost the economy of the people, improve on our standard of living, boost the economy of the state in an overall angle and Nigeria at large” she added.
In his reaction, the resource person, Mr Patrick Tolani commended the Ministry of Commerce for the initiative to address policy and guidelines.
The State Chairman of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Great Seyi Akintunde commended government’s initiative on exportation, its support and efforts for recognizing small businesses as the engine room of economic development.
The Iyaloja of Odigbo Local Government, Chief Mrs Eniola Ogunlana, called for practical actions to complement government’s efforts as she emphasized the need for financial support through loans to boost businesses and encourage traders to make their goods more affordable in the current economic climate.
The Chairman of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA), Mr Gbenga Obaweya lauded the engagement which he described as a positive step for sustained efforts beyond ceremonial events, advocating for ongoing discussions to create a comprehensive roadmap for successful exportation.