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NPNEN convenes first non-oil exporters’ town hall meeting

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The Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN) on Friday, February 5, 2021, during its first non-oil exporters’ town hall meeting deliberated on ways to improve the country’s non-oil export sector. The event which was hosted in a hybrid format (physical and virtual) brought together over 140 stakeholders to identify means of harnessing Nigeria’s Non-Oil resources to leverage improved economic growth.

In his opening remark, Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, the NPNEN President identified that the purpose of the meeting was to bring about a better collaboration amongst non-oil exporters in Nigeria and present them under one umbrella. He also pointed out that it was time to address non-oil export issues and work collectively towards boosting the sector.

The major presentation for the day was taken by Mr Bamidele Ayemibo, the Lead Consultant at 3T Impex Trade Academy, who spoke on the good and bad sides of exporting from Nigeria; and Mr Olufemi Boyede, CEO, Koinonia Global Services Inc., who highlighted some ugly aspect of Nigeria’s non-oil export sector before opening up the discourse for deliberations.

Speaking on the ‘good’, Mr Bamidele Ayemibo listed a range of products with great export potential for Nigeria, especially under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. He backed this up with. Data showing how could be a multi-billion dollar sector if well managed. Ayemibo explained how products like leather footwear, plastic, toilet paper, amongst others, hold great export potential. Bovine (cow meat), for example, has a 559 million dollar potential market and glass bottles, an untapped 450 million dollar market.

In the second part of the presentation, Mr Olufemi Boyede noted factors crippling non-oil exports in Nigeria and made recommendations on how they must be addressed. According to him, “There are facts we must acknowledge, risks we must assess and dangers we must address to revive this sector. From low and inadequate information, pricing, logistics, promotion, economy and access to finance and insurance, amongst others.

“Our export procedures and documentation processes are cumbersome and unnecessarily complex. Until we address all these as a nation, we will be left behind.” Boyede said.

After the presentations, an interactive session followed where participants had the opportunity to ask questions, most of which were directed at relevant government’s MDAs. Some of the responses came from Mr Adeleke Ademuyiwa, representing the Financial Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Ede Dafinone, the Chairman of MAN Export Group, Mrs Chudi-Anaukwu Chioma, representing the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and Mrs. Kadiri Haleemat, representing the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). A representative of the Nigerian Customs Services was also present.

The Town Hall Meeting was themed, “Exporting from Nigeria; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” NPNEN is an umbrella association with a primary vision to create a hub of interconnected players in Nigeria’s non-oil export sector. The network is also committed to leading the advocacy for the creation of an enabling environment for non-oil export trade, and ensure a larger share of global markets for Nigeria’s physical goods and services.

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