IInternational trade experts and non-oil export enthusiasts have identified lack of information, disregard for basic requirements, and inadequate political commitment as some of the reasons many non-oil products exported from Nigeria to others. countries, especially developed countries, are rejected.
Experts, including Ms. Elizabeth Nwankwo, Mr. Abdullahi Sidi Aliyu and Mr. Femi Boyede, highlighted the challenges during the September edition of a monthly webinar series titled “Talking Trade with Femi Boyede”, where questions regarding the export of non-petroleum products and benefits are discussed.
Nwankwo, who was the keynote speaker, on “Scaling Barriers in Export Trade: A Case Study of an Exporter,” said the first step in export trade is to understand that each product had special requirements in the international market.
She noted, for example, that there is a certain amount of preservatives that could be applied to an agricultural product for it to be accepted. “In the case of beans, for example, 0.01 micrograms of glycol is the percentage required to be accepted,” said Nwankwo, CEO / Director of Oklan Best Foods.
She advised exporters to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the goods they wish to export, adding that there is a need to educate farmers on how to store their products.
In addition, Aliyu, international trade expert and CEO of AS Dynamic Ventures Limited, said the product rejection has significant implications for the country, noting that there are government agencies that are supposed to guide exporters.
Boyede, a Nigerian international trade expert based in Canada, said non-oil exports include services and those who export them should know the rules that guide them.
He urged exporters to do due diligence for each product they wish to export. He said that in Canada, for example, yam from Nigeria is not allowed, but if a Ghanaian buys yam from Nigeria and sends it from his country, the yam will be accepted.
“This is why we say that there is a need for political engagement between Nigeria and the countries where our products are needed,” he added.
Regarding port congestion, Aliyu advised the government to open other ports to reduce pressure on the ports of Lagos. He shared personal experience of how a product he sent to Canada for Christmas didn’t reach the country for five months into the New Year.
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