Lack of export strategy, drawbacks of high shipping costs for Nigeria-Don – The Sun Nigeria


From Uche Usim, Abuja

As African nations prepare for the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Lagos Business School (LBS) faculty member Dr. Frank Ojadi cited the lack of strategy and high shipping costs as major impediments that need to be dismantled if Nigeria is to reap the benefits of the program through export.

To this end, he called on the government and relevant stakeholders to immediately design an export strategy that will detail the processes and procedures that guide the export of products.

Ojadi gave the charge in Abuja on Monday during a five-day training program aimed at equipping participants with the knowledge, tools and skills to develop their export business in line with global best practices.

According to him, the absence of clear guidelines on exports would prevent Nigeria from reaping abundant gains from the AfCFTA.

He said: “I was looking at cabotage which is expected to boost the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and found that high costs in our ports and shipping are contributing to us not being competitive enough. to export products”.

“Coastal shipping will help position Nigeria properly to reap bountifully from the AfCFTA. Infrastructure deficits associated with shipping will affect trade to different parts of the world from Nigeria.

Ojadi identified lack of capacity as another factor hampering export trade in Nigeria.

“Government and other stakeholders such as banks must prioritize equipping people and building their capacity to understand what exporting means. It is very important that people know the process and learn the procedures. Of course, some of these activities require the country’s infrastructure capabilities. As long as this continues to be a problem, they will hamper export trade,” he added.

Regarding the dynamics of export trade, Ojadi explained that the external dimension of the challenges facing exports in Nigeria relates to understanding how the destination market works.

“These days, most countries are wary of products entering their territory.”

“Food and drug agencies are very strict about what should go into their country. For example, Ghana with approximately 30 million inhabitants exports more than Nigeria which has nearly 200 million inhabitants. Why? Because they meet the export guidelines and also understand the required standard. Ghana focuses on developing an ‘export strategy’ for each product it wishes to export.

Ojadi said that “for any country that is interested in exporting, they need to have their processes certified by international bodies. The focus is not on the products, but on the process used to make the products. The approved process can then be used for other products. So, once you have obtained this certification, you are well on your way to entering the export market. Nigeria needs to work in this area,” he said.

Also speaking, Team Leader, Export and Agriculture of Fidelity Bank (organizers of the export clinic), Emmanuel Nwalor, said that “the event was organized by Fidelity Bank Plc in conjunction with the Lagos Business School and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) with the objective of empowering exporters and non-exporters alike to develop interest in the export space so that everyone can contribute to the growth of the economy”.

He said what Fidelity Bank Plc “has discovered that is hampering exporting is the lack of stakeholder capacity. People interested in embarking on exporting must have adequate knowledge of the field. It is not a field that one enters without cultivating enough knowledge, otherwise one could lose one’s money easily.

He dispelled the idea that exporting is for big companies with massive resources, saying, “That’s a misconception. Exporting isn’t just for big business. Small and medium-sized enterprises can also engage in exporting. What they need is to build their capacity by learning the trade.

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