With the launch of trade houses in Egypt and Togo, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, is targeting a 40 per cent increase in the country’s exports.
Speaking during an event entitled, ‘Advocacy Programme on Export Trade House, Cairo, Egypt’, in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said the export trade houses were targeted at driving market access for Nigerian products.
He said through the export trade house in Cairo, Nigerian products would be shipped, warehoused, displayed and purchased in the North African country, stressing that the trade houses would enhance the visibility of made-in-Nigeria products outside the Nigerian shores, while reducing the cost of logistics on the Nigerian small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
He further said that the trade houses would increase the share of Nigerian products in the targeted markets, create employment for citizens and increase foreign exchange inflows into the economy.
“Businesses that use trade houses can benefit from its expertise and insight into international markets they operate in as well as get access to vendor financing through loans and credits,” Yakusak said,
“The project is one of the Council’s facilities aimed at increasing Nigeria’s international market share. This is further necessitated by the need for aggressive marketing to increase productivity, enhance expansion and facilitate economic growth through non-oil export. It is also a way of addressing the ever-increasing challenge of dwindling revenue from oil as the world is fast moving away from oil to other sources of energy such as electricity for automobiles and solar power,” he noted.
Chief Executive Officer of Agramverdi, the partner company in Cairo, Ghazwan Minsallati, noted that the idea of Egypt came because of the demand of Nigerian products in the country.
He urged Nigerian exporters to add value to their products before shipping them out, noting that his firm could serve as an intermediary between a Nigerian exporter and an Egyptian buyer.
Director of the International Export Office, NEPC, Mr Babatunde Faleke, concurred that the cost of production in Nigeria was high owing to poor infrastructure, high cost of funds, among others, but he noted that the country’s products should be able to fill the demand gap in Africa and dominate the continental market.
In 2021, Nigeria earned $45.56 billion in 2021 from crude and non- oil exports. Non-oil was only 23.78 per cent of the total -around $10.836bn – which was one-thirds of what Bangladesh made from garments that year.
Exporting more, according to Yakusak, was the major reason for setting up export trade houses across Africa.