Speaking during the NEPC workshop in Lagos, Executive Director/CEO, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, said that about 117 products were exported to 93 countries world-wide in 2013 as provided by Cobalt International Limited.
Awolowo said that Nigeria’s exports are no longer limited to the traditional markets of Europe, especially UK and products such as cocoa, bean, palm produce, groundnuts and solid minerals.
He added that the increase in the number of products being exported and countries destinations are strong indications of export diversification, pointing out that this is a measure of improvement in the Nigerian export culture.
According to him, “NEPC in its efforts to provide the platform for penetrating target international market with made-in-Nigeria products spearheads Nigeria’s participation in International Trade Fairs/Exhibitions every year. This has largely succeeded in exposing Nigerian companies and organisations to the international market and opened up market contacts that have yielded much dividend to the individual companies and the nation in terms of increased in flow of foreign exchange.
“In the year 2013, 13 of such outings were spearheaded by the council. A total number of 126 companies, mainly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) benefited. On-the-spot sales and orders generated by these companies amounted to $627,108.23 and $3,716,920.51 respectively. “Executed order as at the end of February 2014, that was reported to NEPC was $763,247.85. It is also on recorded that made-in-Nigeria products, especially in West African Sub-region market elicit great demand as customers marveled about the quality and wondered if they were ever produced in Nigeria.
“A number of indigenous SMEs that were introduced to the market in the year 2013, especially in processed foods and condiments are already making waves in Togo and Ghana markets amongst other markets being penetrated in the region.
“Efforts to scale up the penetration of the regional market by made-in-Nigeria products led to the initiative of “Lome Trade Hub” which was kick started by the staging of a Solo Exhibition in Lome, Togo in the year 2013 and was closely followed-up with Nigeria’s participation at the 11th Lome International Trade Fair same year. Already, large numbers of Nigerian companies that participated in the two trade events at Togo, have their Togolese representatives selling their various products in the market.
“Efforts at having permanent trade hub in place is yielding dividend and Togolese authorities have allocated a space at their trade fair complex to Nigeria and renovation work is underway,” he said.