Business-oriented Nigerians have been urged to tap into the array of opportunities offered by the commodity exports in the global market.
The President, Chartered Institute of Exports And Commodities Brokers of Nigeria (CIECOBON), Dr Ayobami Omotoso, who made this call during the 2019 Investiture, Induction and Award Ceremony of CIECOBON in Lagos, encouraged Nigerians to explore the export business to complement Federal Government’s efforts to reduce unemployment and earn more foreign exchange.
According to him, in 2017, Nigeria embarked on yam export to the U.S., and United Kingdom, which gave Nigerians the opportunity to earn foreign exchange. Omotoso said the market is now open to prospective exporters, saying Nigeria’s past successes were achieved through export and Cooperative formation and self-discipline of the leaders.
He commended the government for providing loans to farmers and allied businesses from the Agriculture-Small Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Bankers’ Commiittee initiative.
“Early this year, the Federal Government also budgeted another N500 billion for production of cash crops, such as cocoa, palm oil, cashew nut among others.“Many people have started accessing the loan to improve their business. This has given employment to many Nigerians that are interested in farming and small scale industries,” Omotoso said.He also advocated the establishment of an interchange point to be known as, Nigerian Commodities Interchange Centre (NCIC).
Former Director-General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Bukola Lawal, urged Nigerians to promote exports in order to make the economy strong and balanced.
Lawal attributed Nigeria’s challenges to the fact that majority of people had not actually exploited the export sector.“As at today, we focus more on import practice than export. The institute will improve the number of exporters with the new executives being put in place to ensure that Nigerians are well trained to avoid rejection of export produces,” Lawal said.
Deputy Director, Head of Planning Research, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs Moronke Thomas, reiterated the agency’s support for commodities export.
Thomas said NIMASA had established programmes such as Exporters’ Export Gate, Cargo Support initiative, which it would champion.“We want to encourage exportation of commodities at minimum charges because it costs more to import than to export. We identify with this great institution and NIMASA will try and make things easy for the exporters,” Thomas said.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, notes that Nigeria is an import-dependent nation.Ali, who was represented by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Murtala Muhammed Airport Customs Command, Comptroller Jayne Soboiki, urged Nigerians to tap into all the advantages in the export business by complying with the rules guiding exportation of commodities to avoid seizure of their crops.
Technical Assistant to the Director-General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Simidele Onabajo, urged exporters to ensure their products were certified through the right procedures. Onabajo also warned that if all the procedures were not followed, exporters stand the risk of losing their money and forfeiting their commodities.