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.
Boeing Shares Continue To Slide As Countries Ground 737 MAX Planes
Boeing shares have continued to slide on Tuesday as a growing list of countries move to ground the aircraft manufacturer’s 737 MAX model jets after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday killing a hundred fifty-seven persons.
Boeing’s stock price has fallen nearly twelve percent since the accident, erasing roughly twenty-eight billion dollars in value amid concerns the accident could have links to last October’s crash of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air. A hundred eighty-nine persons died in that one.
Although experts warn that it’s too early to know what caused the Ethiopian Airlines crash, both crashes occurred shortly after takeoff. Experts say, that suggests a possible connection.
Bloomberg reports the Boeing 737 is the best selling aircraft in history. The MAX is its newest version, with more fuel-efficient engines. It is also generates almost one-third of the airline maker’s operating profit.
SA Banks Stop Supply Of US Dollars To Zimbabwe
South African banks have stopped supplying Zimbabwe with U.S Dollar notes saying they want to avoid risk. They cite Zimbabwe`s loss of a hundred correspondent banking relationships in the past few years because of the country`s high risk rating.
South African banks have been the major sources of U.S dollars for Zimbabwe since 2009.
Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Director, William Wanimanzi says the development is a result of the country`s failure to follow proper dollarization procedures, signs of which he said are now catching up with the country`s fragile economy. He said the country is not officially dollarized because it does not have an agreement with the United States government to use its currency. He says this will make it difficult to take in cash into the economy.
Zimbabwe Central Bank Abandons Quasi Dollar
Zimbabwe Central Bank has abandoned the quasi dollar it introduced in 2016. The peg of one Zimbabwe dollar to one US dollar has not worked as the black market rate has been in the range of three and a half to four Zimbabwe dollars to one U.S. dollar.
Economists say this move could lead to jitters in countries that hold the peg, including Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
Zimbabwe has long been dealing with currency instability that in 2009, it introduced the US dollar, euro, and the South African rand as legal tenders it thought would stem the wild round of hyper-inflation.
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