Suspicions of govt programmes behind inability of S. East businesses to access govt funds –Official

Peter Njoku, Assistant Director, Export Council (NEPC), Abuja, has blamed inability of businesses in South East to access federal government funds on people’s suspicions of government programmes.

Njoku stated this, on Friday, in Aba, during Export Development Fund sensitization seminar for  businesses in Aba.

He, therefore, called on businessmen and women in region and Abia, in particular, to avail themselves of opportunities and access Export Development Fund to grow their export businesses.

“We were specific that people in the East hardly believe in government programmes.

“We appeal to them to know that this one is genuine and that if they did not apply, they not benefit so let them not come back and say they were not told.

“That is why we are doing these sensitization programmes. We have done one in Enugu and we are holding this one in Aba today.

“Anytime from next week, we roll out the advertisement and after fund application come online from early next month”, he said.

Njoku said that for people to qualify for the N5 billion fund they must have an incorporated company, registered with a CAC certificate, Tax clearance certificate, and with products or services that are of origin.

He said companies, whose products have not met the required international standards, could access the funds and part of it to standardize and certify their products, making them fit for export markets.

Njoku warned that individuals would not access the funds, unless they formed companies that are incorporated or formed cooperatives and applied as a group.

Chief Lawrence Obeta, President, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and , appreciated the federal government for providing such incentives to exporters.

He urged South East businesses to apply and access the fund, and it to develop their businesses and expand their reach.

Mr Chinenye Nwogu, Special Adviser to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Social Investment Programme, said the fund’s revival was a welcome development that would aid the expansion of businesses of Abia entrepreneurs.

“With this programme by the NEPC, for those who are interested in export trade, this is a very huge boost to all the governor has trying to do.

“As a government, we hand hold them to all eligible Abia exporters apply, qualify and receive this .

“And we will be able to support them in any area by interfacing between them and the federal government, to they shortchanged in any way”, he said.

Nwogu would also support them by providing registration centres for the applicants, to they met the deadline.(NAN)