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NEPC charges non-oil exporters on ICT tools for market access

By Femi Adekoya
06 July 2016   |   5:54 am
Worried by the high cost of doing business in the country, especially in the non-oil export sector, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked stakeholders in the sector ...
Head, ICT, Nigerian Export promotion Council, Essien Idongesit(left); Head of Trade Information, Lagos Office, Mrs. Francisca Odega and ICT Consultant, John Obi at the workshop on appropriate ICT Tools for Export in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Head, ICT, Nigerian Export promotion Council, Essien Idongesit(left); Head of Trade Information, Lagos Office, Mrs. Francisca Odega and ICT Consultant, John Obi at the workshop on appropriate ICT Tools for Export in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Worried by the high cost of doing business in the country, especially in the non-oil export sector, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked stakeholders in the sector on exploring opportunities offered through ICT tools in promoting non-oil export offerings.

According to the NEPC, exploring ICT tools will further aid competitiveness of non-oil exporters in the global market as processes can be further managed effectively for export business.

Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, while speaking at a workshop on “Appropriate ICT tools for export”, in Lagos, recently, explained that while reports show that Nigeria ranks as one of the countries in the world with the highest cost of doing business, finding alternatives to shorten the business process is important.

Awolowo, who was represented by Head, Trade Information, Lagos Export Assistant Office, Mrs francisca Odega said: “One of the immediate reasons adduced for the high cost of doing business is the increased application of manual processes, apart from the absence of a streamlined and standardized process to export business. The need to find alternatives to shorten these processes therefore cannot be over-emphasised, as the situation presents a serious impediment to trade.

“As entrepreneurs consider the prospect of increasing sales and revenue through the use of ICT tools to internationalise their trade by generating export offers through the strategic display of their products at the key nodes on the internet, it is necessary to note that Nigeria cannot be left out in the diversification of its export earnings like other oil producing states are doing”.

Examining the appropriate ICT tools for export, Head, ICT, NEPC, Essien Idongesit said exporters need to address challenges with approaches within the industry as well as by being updated on the changes and improvement in technology.

According to him, there is high competition for market share and measures to address the ease of doing business should be deployed to increase the volume and value of export in the country.

He noted that while small businesses cannot afford the technological infrastructure of large corporations, they need to optimize the use of available resources to grow their businesses.

“To improve market access, small businesses should intensify their market research, exposure, delivery and build their expansion capacity”, he added.

On his part, John Obi, while speaking on leveraging online marketing tools to enhance visibility and sales, urged non-oil exporters to explore social media platforms to market and increase their exposure to the global market.