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IT, e-Commerce resolving the challenge of market access for SMEs—NEPC

There are indications that the global challenge of market access for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is gradually being taken care of by continuous adoption of relevant technologies and inclusion of e-Commerce platforms.

Explaining more during a workshop for SME operators, the  Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, noted that market access had continued to be a huge constraint to small-holder producers around the third world countries, maintaining that the use of information technology and e-commerce would go a long way in changing the face of business transactions.

Represented by Deputy Director, National Export Office, NEPC, Mrs. Veronica Oriere, NEPC boss averred that time has come for Nigerian businesses to acquire appropriate skills that would make them visible globally as old and crude market penetration strategies were giving way to technologically-driven methods all over the world.

According to him, NEPC has concluded plans with International Trade Centre to use a programme called Shetrade to take over 480,000 Nigerian women to the international market.

In his presentation, Babatunde Faleke, the Regional Coordinator, South-West of the Council said the aim of the workshop was to break all the barriers hindering the growth of international trade, stating that the SMEs were still being faced with the challenge of taking their goods across the border, but stressed that with the help of information technology, the challenge would be addressed.

He said “We have quite a lot of talented SMEs that need exposure and the easiest way to give them that exposure is to use the e-platform. We are in partnership with different e-platforms to make sure that these exporters optimise the opportunities that e-commerce offers,” he said.

While toeing the same line of views, Managing Director of Berger Paints, Mr. Peter Folikwe, observed that the SMEs were not adequately provided for in some of the monetary and fiscal policies of government. This, according to him, limits their ability to trade in the world business space.