As part of efforts to boost and promote the export services, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has organized a football talent hunt for 150 young footballers selected nationwide.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event in Abuja, the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said the football talent hunt provided a veritable platform for advancing the”Export for Survival Campaign of the Council in the promotion of goods and services for export.
“You are all aware that the consequences of over-dependence on oil have precipitated the need to diversify the Nigerian economy through the export of goods and services because services for export is one of the non-oil export sectors that has significantly contributed to the economic growth and development of Nigeria” He said
According to him the event which is being organized in collaboration with the private sector is in line with the NEPC statutory mandate to promote the export of services.
The Executive Director explained that a few months ago, the NEPC initiated the Youth for Export Programme designed to address the challenges of youth restiveness by encouraging youth participation in the non-oil export value chain, as part of the Council’s Export for Survival campaign.
“The Youth for Export Programme is designed to empower young Nigerians by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage in export activities and it is targeted at youths who are interested in entrepreneurship and export business aimed at providing training and mentorship on the export process, market research, product development, and access to funding and markets” Dr Yakusak stated.
He stressed that the football talent hunt is therefore one of the strategies adopted to mainstream the youths in export activities through the Youth for Export Programme.
“You will agree with me that Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria and has become a significant source of national pride. Our country has produced some of the most talented and successful football players in the world and we believe that there are many more talented young people in our country whose skills are yet untapped moreover the initiation of this nationwide football talent hunt programme is to identify and develop young footballers with exceptional skills and nurture them to become world-class players” the Executive Director said.
He added that the goal of NEPC is to create a sustainable pool of talented football players who can represent Nigeria on the global stage and through the programme the Council also hopes to create positive impact on the Nigerian economy by promoting football as a viable career option for young people who may eventually export such services.
In a remark, one of the Partners in the Football Talent Hunt, Mr Marc Bautista said 150 young footballers had been invited for the event adding that the successful ones would be engaged in a four year contract abroad.
Mathew Ayoola, Edited By Grace Namini
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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