- The imperative for non-oil export to be facilitated especially in this part of the world
cannot be overemphasized. In addition to Ease of Doing Business, Nigeria now needs
the ‘Ease of Doing Export’.
- EEG is the only incentive that still works in Nigeria. The government must honour the
debts owed to various sectors and redeem the backlog of EEG claims. (In China, it
takes one week to redeem the exporters’ export tax rebate) Government should honour
the annual allocation in the Appropriation Bill to provide for EEG
- Rather than always chasing Exporters to bring back Export proceeds, it is important
for CBN to show the exporter that the Nigerian government is aware of or concerned
about the likely multiple legal challenges the exporters are facing that could impede
the repatriation of export proceeds.
- Nigeria is capturing huge bulk shipments going through the ports, the borders are
probably excluded from Nigeria’s export performance and figures. NEPC should
collaborate with the NSC, CBN and other relevant bodies to have an export desk at
the Northern borders especially where shipments can be captured using the NXP as it
is done at the Seme Border.
- If export-oriented policies are too draconian and unattractive, exporters will go to the
free funds market and CBN will never be able to capture these transactions. Let us
strike a balance that we are all working for the good of Nigeria and it is important to
ensure that all exports are captured officially.
- CBN should through NPNEN do another Townhall meeting as quickly as possible so
exporters and management of CBN can hear the challenges that exporters are going
through. This will help us go to the drawing board to formulate policies that engender
an increase in the desire to export officially. Trade and Exchange department should
help make this happen.
- Made in Nigeria products are being rejected from the EU market because of some
pesticides which is approved by NAFDAC but being rejected by the EU. These
pesticides are in the market with their NAFDAC number. One of them has the chemical
name ‘Chlorpyrifos’ The Hibiscus association had discussed this issue with the DG,
NAQS. Unless this chemical is banned by NAFDAC, these rejections in the EU will
continue. NAFDAC and NAQS should intensify their efforts in creating awareness on
the usage of these pesticides on agricultural commodities.
- NAFDAC should review its 21 days waiting period to get lab test results of products
before shipment can be done. This introduces unnecessary delay for the exporter who
already has a contract to honor. A 50% reduction should be sufficient.
- NAFDAC should establish a country standard for all agro allied products. When this is
done NAFDAC must strengthen its relationship with sister organisations all around the
world and make them understand that there is no health hazard from products coming
from Nigeria as long as they have conformed to the country standard quality
specifications, NAFDAC would have done 50 years achievement with just one step.
- The general experience is that the cost of moving goods within Lagos to the port is
higher or sometimes twice the cost of transportation of goods from outside Lagos. This
clearly takes away significant amount of profit that the exporters could be making and
causes unnecessary delays to the extent that some exporters are now exploring the
use of alternative ports. This may be a solution in the end but for ports that are not
geared for export or lack experience in export, there will be initial teething problems.
The NPA and NEPC are encouraging alternative ports to reduce the load away from
Lagos, however this does not address the difficulty of moving goods on the roads which
is still a big one.
- Shipment from Onne port can be done within 3-4 weeks, however the shipping
companies charge double the expected freight rate compared to Apapa with the
distance not enough to warrant such charges. Also, the port operators at Onne have
very exorbitant charges and if there is any delay in the shipment, they charge you even
if the delay is caused by them. A lot of these things are outside the control of the
exporter and hence should be dealt with in fairness to the exporter. The NSC and
NEPC should wade into this matter for the interest of the exporter.
- If the congestion in Apapa and logistics bottlenecks is to be resolved, this exorbitant
port operations in alternates ports should be resolved as a matter of urgency.
- As pertaining to the possibilities of doing partial shipment and partial NXP, CBN would
need to put out the communication of how the process works especially for those that
need more clarity.
- Exporters are losing money due to inconsistent policies and regulations especially
regarding payment limits for shipping, NXP etc. Carriers are increasing rates daily due
to congestion at the port and exporters are losing money. The CBN and other
regulators need to look at this by engaging practicing exporters on the field.
- Export logistics alone is taking up to 30% if not more of ROI. And this is not making
export attractive any longer. From Apapa into the port is costing about N400,000, and
if vessels are used some will charge over 700,000. It doesn’t make sense anymore.
NSC, NPA and other relevant stakeholders should please consider the fate of
- Shipping lines in Nigeria now refuse to carry cargoes, exports that are meant to leave
Nigeria to their destinations, they would rather pick empty containers. At a point
Starlink Global Ltd had over 1000 containers of cashew waiting at the jetties of the
barge operators. With the cashew season over already, there are still containers at the
port that have not been moved to their destinations. Shippers are sabotaging the efforts
of government in promoting Export and this needs to be addressed urgently.
- Aside from taking empty containers, shipping companies are currently operating as a
cartel. They charge anything they feel like. The stuffing and loading fees have become
as high as shipping costs. Exporters are being held to ransom with charges that cannot
be explained. Exporters are at the receiving end and it is unbearable.
- Nigerian exporters targeting the European market face a tariff disadvantage of up to
10%, whereas our competitors such as Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya enjoy dutyfree access. Nigeria did not sign the EPA and some other preferential agreements
which countries are now entering into on individual basis. Nigeria needs to position
herself in a way that exporters can actually begin to enjoy preferential market access.
- We do a lot of promotion in Nigeria to the detriment of development. Development is
not only getting the products right or the standard specified, it is also developing a
market so that Nigeria SMEs after putting the effort into improving their products will
be able to access a guaranteed market. This is an incentive to continue to produce.
- Exporters must embrace quality and comply with market standards, disregard for
regulatory authorities adds to the rejection of products in international markets.
- There is no future in the export of charcoal or wood because of the fight against
businesses that degrade the environment. There is a policy against Charcoal Export
and exporters should not be caught off guard.
- In the EU markets Traceability is key when it comes to agro allied products. SON
provides information on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). Exporters should check the
- Public institutions should work more closely with the private sector (as agents) to
ensure quality standards are achieved across the country. It’s a collective mission.
September 16, 2021
August 10, 2021
NPNEN will host its 3rd Exporters Townhall meeting on the 25th of August 2021. This Townhall is a platform to address the challenges that exporters are facing with a view to addressing them. We have invited both State and Non-State actors to this meeting. We will continue to advocate for an enabling environment, while approaching the issues with evidence that comes from exporters experiences. Do not keep quiet when your voice needs to be heard.
Kindly register to join the conversation at http://bit.ly/exporterstownhall
We look forward to seeing you there.