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‘Why Nigeria must design export strategy to harness AfCFTA’

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
19 July 2022   |   4:05 am
Nigeria must design to strategy spell out the processes that guide products that are meant for export, a faculty member of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr Frank Ojadi has said.

Nigeria must design to strategy spell out the processes that guide products that are meant for export, a faculty member of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr Frank Ojadi has said.

Speaking in Abuja at a five-day training programme aimed at equipping participants with relevant knowledge, tools and skills required to develop their export business in line with global best practices and in tandem with the AFCFTA, Ojadi explained that the absence of clear-cut guidelines on exports may hinder Nigeria from benefitting maximally from the trade deal when it takes operational.

Specifically, he urged the Federal Government to take deliberate steps to address the challenges confronting coastal shipping as well as the high cost of shipping.

His words: “I was examining the coastal shipping which ought to boost the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and I discovered that high costs in our ports and shipping are contributing to our not being competitive enough to export products. I think that coastal shipping will help in properly placing Nigeria to reap bountifully from the AfCFTA. Infrastructural deficits that are associated with shipping will affect trade going to different parts of the world from Nigeria.”

Dr Ojadi identified lack of capacity as another factor impeding export trade in Nigeria.

“Government and other stakeholders such as banks need to prioritise equipping people and building their capacities to understand what export means. It is very important for people to know the process and learn the procedures. Of course, some of these activities require infrastructure capabilities of the country. As long as that continues to be a problem, they will impede export trade,” he said.

In the same vein, he also said there is the need to understand the external dynamics of export trade as well.

On his part, Team Lead, Export and Agriculture of Fidelity Bank, Emmanuel Nwalor, said the event which was organised by Fidelity Bank Plc in collaboration with Lagos Business School and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), was aimed at empowering exporters and non-exporters to develop an interest in the export space for everyone to be able to contribute to the growth of the economy.

He stated: “What the bank has discovered that is hampering export is lack of capacity among the stakeholders. People that are interested in going into export must have adequate knowledge about the terrain. It is not an area one goes into without cultivating enough knowledge otherwise one could lose his money easily.”