Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, has said that Nigeria lost more than 100 billion dollars of national export revenues between 2015 to 2017 due to the crash in oil prices.
Awolowo spoke in Abuja on Wednesday at a roundtable and exhibition on export competency development programme.
“The recent recession was due to a 30 to 40 billion dollars annual deficit in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
“Nigeria must replace these lost export revenues in order to sustain economic growth, stabilise the naira, sustain federal and state government income and boost employment,’’ he said.
Awolowo said the council’s goal was to grow Nigeria’s non-oil export revenues from 1.5 trillion naira per annum to five trillion naira within three to four years and more than 10 trillion naira over the longer term.
He said the council was collaborating with Centre for the Development of Imports (CBI) to stimulate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in low and middle-income countries to gain access to the European market.
Awolowo said CBI Export Competency Development Programme (ECD) was also to offer SMEs the capacity to add value to their products to attract higher margins and ability for their supplies to be more in line with European demand.
According to him, adding value to raw materials does not only create higher margins but also generate more income and jobs.
He said that the collaboration started in 2016 after identifying three sectors – cocoa, cashew and sesame – as those with immense potential in the European market.
Awolowo said that export outlook in 2017 showed some positive developments.
“In cashew for example, a lot of cashew plantations with jumbo varieties are springing up.
“From a raw cashew production of about 150,000 tonnes, 15,000 tonnes are processed in Nigeria which is just 10 per cent.
“In 2016 to 2017 a tonne of raw cashew nut is sold at a maximum of 1,800 dollars while cashew kernels WW 320 is sold between nine dollars and 10 dollars per pound which is up to 22 dollars per kilo,’’ he said.
Awolowo added that Nigeria was currently the third largest exporter of sesame after India and Sudan.
He said that the cocoa sector suffered a setback in 2017 but the longer term prospects were positive and the country need to be in position to take advantage of that opportunity.
“Findings from empirical studies conducted by the council in collaboration with the Applied Management Research Team 10 of the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2017, confirmed that Nigeria can actually earn about 1.3 billion dollars yearly revenue by 2025.
“The value chain development in the cocoa sector has great prospects in the export markets,’’ Awolowo said.
Mr James Fitzpatrick, CBI Natural Ingredients and Oilseeds expert coach, said exporters failed because they underestimate the task.
Fitzpatrick said other reasons were due to unclear goals, poor or no market research, poor customer selection, communication and management.
He said that the objective of the programme was for the council to understand the principle of export development and market to enable it to implement a system for sustainable activity in export development.
According to him, CBI is expert in export development and promotion to Europe.
He said that the best tools to consider in export were to have export marketing plan, action plan, self audit and customer profiling tool.
Fitzpatrick said that opportunity for Nigeria in processing and export would enable the country to generate 300 million dollars per annum in export sales.
He said it would also create 100,000 jobs with food safe primary processing industry, security and sustainability for farm families. NAN
‘Nigeria to earn over $1.3bn annually from Cocoa by 2025’
The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo has revealed that Nigeria will be earning foreign exchange of over $1.3 billion yearly from Cocoa by 2025 as the Council intensifies efforts to boost the non-oil sector in the country.
Speaking at a one day roundable and exhibition on Export Competency Development Programme in Abuja on Wednesday, Awolowo stated that Cocoa sector had great prospects in the global market and is one of the Council’s pioneer agricultural products for export.
According to him, “finding from empirical studies conducted by the Council in collaboration with the Applied Management Research Team 10 (AMR T10) of the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017 confirmed that Nigeria can actually earn about $1.3 billion yearly revenue by 2025 from Cocoa”.
“Cocoa is capable of attracting global players in the likes of Nestle to transform the sector through forward integration into global value chains. Value chain development in the Cocoa sector has great prospects in the export markets” he noted.
Awolowo who also commended the efforts of the Netherlands Embassy in ensuring the collaboration between the NEPC and the Center for the Development of Import (CBI), “the objective of our collaboration with the CBI is to introduce the Export Competency Development Programme in Nigeria just as it is done for other developing economies. Such efforts contributed in launching a wide arrays of products produced by SMEs in developing countries into the EU market”.
He explained that for the Council to arrive at the agricultural products that had the highest potential for export, “the market analysis tools of the international Trade Center (ITC) was employed before arriving at these 3 products (Sesame, Cocoa and Cashew) sectors out of several other”.
“Specific group of particular companies in three product sectors were selected and audited. The purpose of course, is to find out companies strengths and weaknesses which were later used to develop an Action plan for each of the companies. This is then followed by rigorous training and coaching seasons” he noted.
Awolowo said “the whole purpose of the programme is to build the capacity of SMEs in Nigeria and connect them with businesses in the European food industry. The huge demand in Europe for food ingredients offers a big opportunity for Nigerian SMEs in the food industry. The CBI Export Competency Development Programme is design to offer SMEs that needed capacity to add value to their products to attract higher margins and for their supplies to be more in line with European demands” .
While explaining the importance of Export Competency Programme by CBI in collaboration with NEPC, one of the coaches, James Fitzpatrick stated that Nigerian selected agricultural products currently has the capacity of generating $300 million to the country’s foreign reserve if properly harnessed.
He also said “in the next 10 years, the world will be depending on Africa for Sesame” adding that Nigeria is the second largest producers of Sesame after India.
In his comment, one of the company out of the 12 companies that benefited from the NEPC/CBI training on Export Competency Development Programme, Trust World company, producer Sesame said the training was very significant and enlighten particularly as it relate to issues of hygiene.
Ibrahim Abdullasalam, the company Director noted that, “the CBI training taught us about the need to take hygiene very serious in the processes of producing our products. We were also taught about the new innovations in Sesame production in order to boost the quality of our production” he stated.
The CBI is a Dutch government agency founded 40 years ago with the mandate of developing and promoting export in developing countries. In collaboration with the NEPC, the CBI has trained 24 staff of the Council in coaching capacity and 12 companies in export ethnics.