By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked exporters in the country to explore e-commerce to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export sector and reach global markets.
The Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, made the call while speaking at a sensitization workshop organized by the agency in Lagos themed Earn Dollars by Selling on Amazon.
Speaking on the situation caused by the global pandemic on Nigerian export businesses, Mr Oyeyipo cited that conditions have necessitated exporters to think out of the box to ensure continuity in their businesses.
He explained that taking advantage of e-commerce would give Nigeria’s non-oil exporters the leeway to access international markets effectively.
On this note, he said that the workshop is aimed at enabling participants’ access information needed to enhance the quality of their products and make them suitable for the international market and placement on the Amazon platform.
“These responsibilities we must take with all seriousness they deserve. The workshop is therefore designed to be participatory in nature as it would enable us to share our field experiences with a view to enriching our knowledge on product development and conditionality for earning dollars through selling on the Amazon platform.
“In addition, the importance of this gathering is underscored by the fact that some of you as managers in your company are saddled with the responsibility of generating information that could be used for planning and access to the foreign market,” Mr Oyeyipo explained.
Speaking at the workshop, the Managing Director of Export and Sell in the United States of America (USA), Mr Udeh Nduka, stated that Nigeria was yet to leverage the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to its fullest potential as far as non-oil export is concerned.
Being the legislation that assists the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region, Mr Nduka added that only Uganda and Kenya have been effectively taking advantage of the act.
According to him, “I will not say we have not utilized it, but we have not utilized it to the level we ought to, but when you look at statistics, Nigeria is one of the countries doing the most under AGOA because of petroleum, but when we look at the non-oil, we have not done much.
“We have countries like Uganda, Kenya doing amazing things with respect to non-oil under AGOA, but we are looking to change all that.”
He also disclosed that the main reason why Nigerian products are rejected at the international market is that most exporters do not know the requirements and lack the ability to configure their products to meet international standards.
He said, “This is one of the things we do at Export and Sell in the USA. If you bring a product that you want to export, we make sure that the product meets the specifications. We do not want exporters spending their hard-earned money on exporting and at the end of the day, get their products rejected.
“This is the worst thing that can happen to any business. It is not that these countries are rejecting our products based on standards, it is we back home that are not doing our homework to know the requirements for exports.”