The Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abubakar Bello have noted that the multiple challenges faced by Nigerian exporters affects it from been able to access the global markets and faulted the two-weeks suspension of cargo exports from Lagos and Tin-Can Ports announced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The NEXIM boss posits that the sudden suspension of exports by the port regulator would have ripple effects on exporters and supply value chain of the economy.
Bello made this assertion while speaking as one of speakers at a webinar hosted by Zenith Bank on Tuesday, themed "Nigeria's Economic Prosperity: The role of intra-regional trade and non oil export initiative" said that the export ban came at a time when the nation needs to show its commitment towards diversifying the economy from oil.
According to him, "It is a sad one for exporters to hear that NPA wakes up one day that they are suspending exports for the next two weeks and this is a country that needs to have an export driven effort to diversify export revenue and create job opportunity.
"These are part of the multiple challenges being face by exporters in accessing global markets, also impeding the growth in non-oil export in the country."
Bello posits that exporters would lose money in terms of interest if they are borrowing to finance export and also fail in delivering export contract as a result of port closure on exports.
Speaking on impediments face by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as regards export, he noted that most people attribute it to lack of access to funds.
Speaking further, he said, "although it is a major problem but there are also multiple challenges that need to be sorted out such as streamlining multiple agencies within and outside the port, having a strategy that everyone involved in value change of export can Incorporate and imbibe into."
While giving recommendations for Increase participation of Nigerian companies to position themselves and take advantage of the larger market for AfCTA, industry stakeholder, the Managing Director of Presco Plc, Mr. Felix Nwabuko argued that for increase participation of Nigerian companies to happen both the Government and the exporter’s needs to fulfill their responsibilities at their end.
According to him, export is important to revitalize Nigeria and African economy as AfCTA commences and the best the government can do is to clearly eliminate obstacles while the exporters need to pay attention to the quality of export products in order to compete with local and global competitors.
In his words: "We want to see the government remove obstacles in the smooth functioning of market forces, provide information for exporting firms about destination market and foreign competitors.
"Government must pay attention to Infrastructure in terms of roads and power supply. The road needs to be developed as there is an increase in cargo export.
"Power supply needs to be increased as it is an essential part in driving industrialisation, without power supply to drive infrastructure the market can exist but the product won't be available.
"Corporate organization must up the game and drive the matter on quality so as to be competitive in the international and local market, pay attention to efficiency cost, earn certifications that meet international standards, increase production quantity and continuous effort in research and development in order to compete favourably in the international market”.
Recall that the NPA suspended cargo export into the ports for fourteen days as measures to clear the backlog of trucks causing gridlock on the port corridor.
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