Non-oil prod­ucts: ‘Value ad­di­tion, oth­ers can boost ex­ports’

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day with agency re­port

The Trade Pro­mo­tion Ad­vi­sor and Ex­pert As­sis­tant at the Nige­rian Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (NEPC), Mr Macpher­son Fred-Ileog­ben, yes­ter­day, said that value ad­di­tion and or­ganic farm­ing can boost the ex­port of non-oil prod­ucts.

Speak­ing in an in­ter­view with the News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN) in Benin Fred-Ileog­ben said that these strate­gies were nec­es­sary to en­able Nige­rian ex­porters know how to make their prod­ucts ac­cept­able in the for­eign markets and earn more value.

He said that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment was look­ing at di­ver­si­fy­ing the coun­try’s re­source gen­er­a­tion from oil to non-oil prod­ucts.

“So, ex­porters and would-be ex­porters should key into this pol­icy and gen­er­ate more for­eign ex­change for the coun­try and in the same vain strengthen the valve of the naira,”he said.

The non-oil ex­port com­modi­ties con­trib­uted less than 10% to the ex­port vol­ume and less than three per cent to the to­tal vol­ume of trade in Nige­ria in 2015.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nige­rian Ports Author­ity (NPA) Malam Habib Ab­dul­lahi, said re­cently that over 86% of im­ported laden con­tain­ers left Nige­ria empty due to low ex­port.

He said that devel­op­ment had re­sulted into the loss of rev­enue that would have ac­crued if they left Nige­ria laden with ex­port com­modi­ties.

“It is also im­por­tant to high­light that agri­cul­tural prod­ucts ac­counted for over 90% of the Nige­rian non-oil ex­port com­modi­ties, ba­si­cally co­coa beans and palm ker­nel,” Ab­dul­lahi had said.

On value chain ad­di­tion, the NEPC trade ad­vi­sor said: “On the av­er­age, our prod­ucts are up to stan­dard but we have to do more so that they can com­pete well at the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

“The coun­try needs to do more in the as­pect of in­fra­struc­ture, such as im­prov­ing power, pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cess roads and rail transportation to ease con­ver­sion of raw ma­te­ri­als into semi-fin­ished or fin­ished goods for ex­por­ta­tion.

“This is be­cause most semifin­ished or fin­ished prod­ucts at­tract more value at the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket than prod­ucts in their raw forms. If you are tak­ing any­thing out­side the coun­try, we ex­pect that the stan­dard and pack­ag­ing should be ac­cept­able abroad,”he said.

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