There is a growing consensus that the best way for Nigeria to make a rapid transition from constantly hovering on the brink of recession, to achieving sustainable, inclusive economic growth, which is not dependent on a rise in crude oil prices, is by taking advantage of the weak naira and developing the non-oil export sector.
However, the question is what sustainable, consistent, tested and proven approaches can we employ to make our products and services more competitive in the domestic, regional and global markets, develop our non-oil export value chains and earn so much more than what we are currently earning from export? How can we create the necessary synergy to integrate and magnify the efforts of Federal and State Governments, their agencies, Funding Institutions, the Private sector, Civil Society, and International Development Partners in a sustainable and inclusive manner that will best guarantee the survival of more and more Nigerian SMEs, and ensure that they become major players and catalysts in the Non-oil Export Sector?
African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS) and her like-minded collaborators; Institute Of Packaging Nigeria, Connect Nigeria, Pact Universal, Atlantic Exhibition, BellAfricana and 3T Export, believe that the fastest way of achieving these objectives is by strengthening value chains and collaboration. This can be achieved through partnerships, outsourcing, out-grower/produce associations, cooperatives, PPP, government-to-government alliances, sustained capacity building, skills and technology acquisition, mentoring and handholding, and access to low cost funds in a timely manner.
This calls for an “all-hands-on-deck” approach, involving the Federal Government, State Governments, funding institutions and banks, the private sector and international development partners, SME facilitators and consultants, working together to ensure that the Nigerian economy can leapfrog from the fringes of recession to export-led, inclusive, sustainable growth.
That is why we have decided to create a platform, to continue, and follow through on these conversations. This high-profile event endorsed by African Development Bank, NEXIM and Bank of Industry will take place at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos from Wednesday 12th to Friday 14th of September, 2018. It will create an environment where for 3 days, selected MSMEs, SME business associations, producer organizations and cottage industries from different parts of Nigeria would be given the opportunity to showcase their products, have them assessed by experts and be able to interact with prospective investors and organizations that can offer them the necessary financial, technical, and technological support to enable them become major players in local, regional and global markets.