To reduce losses suffered from long haulage and shipping cycles as a result of prolonged rehabilitation of access routes leading to the ports, non-oil exporters are urging members to embrace value-addition, and re-jig their export processes as well as value-chain operations.
The exporters noted that many shipping companies prefer to lift petroleum products rather than agricultural produce because of the challenges attached to getting commodities out of the country.Indeed, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the huge potential in the non-oil export sector will remain at the level of potential if the myriads of challenges confronting export businesses in Nigeria are not resolved.
According to the Chamber, the challenges revolve around products, pricing, purchasers, paperwork, payment, promotion and policies.The Chamber’s Chairman, Export Group, Bamidele Ayemibo, while speaking at a forum in Lagos, yesterday, said the hydra-headed challenges can be addressed through collaboration between the private sector and government in the areas of policy initiation and implementation.
He sought the need for a presidential export council that reports directly to the President, and works with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), to fund and drive a well-articulated promotional strategy, and export trade education.
“A tax free regime should be given to companies that add value to their products and export them. A regular training should be organised for intending exporters that produce finished goods that are viable in order to build their capacity, connect them with sources of funding and potential buyers in the export market,” he added.Guest Speaker and Chief Executive Officer, Friday Consult Limited, Fred Uwheraka, noted that the only solution to storage is harnessing produce from the farmer’s gate by adding value.
“Our selection process is a major issue. As an exporter, you have to know the requirements of a specific product for each country you are exporting to. Your selection process must be very good; you must know if the products are exportable, and you must also be consistent.“Another problem exporters are having is the issue of freight forwarding. You must use a reliable forwarding agent and the selection process should be yours. Delays in forwarding can bring about some level of doubt on the part of the receiver at the other end,” he added.
He said the reason why Nigerian products are not selling well at the international market is due to lack of continuous supply.He also advised exporters to carry out economies of scale for each export they make to have pre-knowledge of returns.LCCI President, Babatunde Ruwase, urged government to provide an enabling environment for stakeholders in the non-oil sector for value adding activities.
He noted that although the second quarter GDP improved, some key consumer facing sectors still exhibit weakness and vulnerability.“The slow growth reflects weak purchasing power of the consumers, infrastructural deficit, access and high cost of credit as well as the lagged impact of security conditions in the North.
“The country is endowed with abundant raw materials in the non-oil sector, which can be leveraged to increase our exports and improve our trade balance. I implore the government to create the enabling environment for the private sector to add value to primary products before exporting them.
“We must discourage the practice where we simply export primary products without adding any value. Some steps taken recently by the government on improving the fortunes of non-oil export are commendable. However, more still needed to be done,” he added.
Saudi Arabia To Invest 100m Euros In Africa’s Sahel Region
Saudi Arabia has pledged 100 million euros to support priority investment programs in Africa’s Sahel region.
Saudi’s state minister for African affairs Ahmed Qattan made the announcement at a donors meeting for the five-member Sahel group, held in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott. The other countries making up the Sahel group are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger.
NDIC Explains Why CBN Revoked Licences Of Micro Finance Banks And Mortgage Banks
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation has explained why the Central Bank of Nigeria revoked the licenses of 154 Micro Finance Banks and 6 Primary Mortgage Banks.
NDIC Managing Director, Umary Ibrahim, says the revocations took place because the entities were losing their capital base, they had poor liquidity, they had inept management, and that insiders gave themselves loans they did not intend to repay.
This explanation was given by NDIC controller of the Kano zonal office, Bashiru Nuhu, during the 2018 Kano International Trade Fair. Nuhu said depositors would be paid once NDIC had verified depositors and their claims.
South Africa Out Of Recession
Official figures released in South Africa show that the economy is no longer in recession. The country had plunged into a recession in the second quarter for the first time since 2009.
Statistics agency said on Tuesday, South Africa’s real gross domestic expenditure expanded by 2.3% in the third quarter of 2018 after contracting by 0.7% in the second quarter.
This comes as a boost to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been struggling to fulfill a promise to turn around the economy and create jobs at a time of mass unemployment.
Meanwhile, electricity utility Eskom has warned on Monday, South Africa faces more power cuts, as it sought to prevent the collapse of its power grid. Eskom implemented a fifth day of controlled power cuts on Monday, putting more strain on the economy months before a national election.
Eskom, which is battling a severe financial crisis, coal shortages and breakdowns of its power plants, says it would cut up to 2,000 megawatts of power from the grid.
South Africa senior economist Jeff Schultz says prolonged power cuts would likely hurt economic growth in the first quarter of 2019.
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