Despite its poor infrastructure, lack of finance and poor power supply, Nigeria has been ranked as global leader in the export of seven agricultural produce such as yam, cassava, melon, kola nut, sorghum and shea nut.
Disclosing this in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, harped on the importance of streamlining the procedures and documentation of exports.
Awolowo who spoke at a business seminar on ‘provision of a seamless logistics service as a panacea for economic growth,’ said there are 22 steps to exporting goods and lengthy and cumbersome procedures tend to add to cost of doing business.
He said opportunities available in non-oil export will remain a mirage if the issue of procedures and documentations remained cumbersome, adding that the dominance of oil revenue is changing around the world with attention are being shifted to non-oil export.
Awolowo said, “Trade dynamics are evolving, competition for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and easier ways of doing business are increasingly impacting trade relations.”
Explaining further, the NEPC boss noted that the council has stepped up efforts at encouraging private investors to build export warehouses to serve as one stop shop for non-oil exports, adding that the availability of all relevant inspection and certification agencies under the same roof will also reduce cost.
In his opening remarks, convener of the conference, Ali Shobande, said that the move to establish an export terminal at the Lilypond in Apapa was to further reduce the cost incurred by exporters in the course of their businesses.