This is a step-by-step guide on how to export goods from Nigeria to other countries. Nigerian government through Nigerian Export Promotion Council is increasingly encouraging Nigerian industrialists, business men and women, and agriculturalists to export more non-oil products so as to grow our export index, create jobs, and in the long run stabilize Nigeria’s economy.
The potentials of non-oil exports are largely untapped because of over dependence on crude oil exports which generate over 90% of Nigeria’s exports.
More Nigerians are now looking the other way due to the crash of crude oil prices thus making the exportation of the product less attractive.
Nigerian government recently announced that emphasis will be laid more on agro-allied products.
This is commendable because it means the costs of exporting farm produce and other related products from Nigeria will be slashed, thereby increasing her non-oil revenues.
From statistics, the non-oil products Nigeria exports most are cocoa, palm oil, cassava, rubber, wool, cotton, wood logs (Iroko and Mahogany) groundnut oil, cashew, garlic, etc.
The conditions or requirements to export goods to foreign countries from Nigeria depend largely on the products in question. This piece is an eye opener as to the steps to take so as to achieve it. I will give you a 3-step guide.
Step1: Do a survey
To export any products from Nigeria, there is a need to know everything about export business as well as the goods you wish to export, so you must do a survey in that line of business. You must answer the following questions:
- Which product is in high demand outside Nigeria, but it is readily available in Nigeria? Can I easily source them and not disappoint my overseas customers waiting for me? Is the demand for the goods high enough to be worth going into the business?
- How to I establish foreign contacts and customers so as to quickly sell my goods outside Nigeria? Which country or countries will be the best to export my goods because of high demand by customers? Do I have the capacity to advertise my products overseas in countries of high demand?
- What is the cost of exporting my products from Nigeria (export duties and levies)? Can I afford to use flight to export my perishable goods knowing full well it will be expensive?
- What means of transportation should I employ to export my goods? What are the shipping companies and cargo flights available in Nigeria (freight forwarder)?
- Legal requirements. What are those conditions that my company and/or my goods must meet before they are cleared? Who clears my goods before they are transported outside Nigeria and on what conditions? What government agency/department certifies my goods okay for exportation and which one am I expected to register with?
These questions and many more questions must be answered by YOU in the course of your survey. Remember to go into extensive research, visit Nigerian Export Promotion Council in Lagos for some expert advice and registration later.
If possible, meet people who are in the same line of export business to learn from their mistakes and strengths before you think of how to export goods to foreign countries from Nigeria.
There are many government agencies, departments and ministries that certify goods fit to be exported. Find out the best shipping company or cargo airliner to export your perishable goods abroad.
Step2. Register your business
To give your business some prestige and be taken seriously, there’s a need to register your business. This is achieved by visiting Corporate Affairs Commissions.
Remember that you will be dealing with a lot of foreigners, and in the quest to convince them to patronize you, they may need to check out your business with CAC and if CAC doesn’t have any information on your company, they will assume are a fraud.
It’s often said that trust is not a business challenge overseas, but in Nigeria trust is an issue because of Nigeria’s not-too-good image abroad. So there is a need to register your business if you wish to export goods to foreign countries from Nigeria so as to win customers trusts.
There may also be the need to show your foreign partners your Certificate of Incorporation to win their trust and do business with you without fear. Also, you need to register with Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) since you are going into non-oil exportation business.
To register with NEPC costs about N11,000 and it takes about a week. Remember before your business is allowed to export non-oil products abroad, your must register with CAC and NEPC. At NEPC office, they expect you are registered with CAC.
Step3: Search for Customers/Clients
As it is often said that, “Customers are kings in businesses.” Now you are in the business, you should know that no business ever survives without customers as most businesses depend on them to at least breakeven.
So, you must look for means to search for customers. Design a website and advertise it on web search engines like Google.
When you advertise your website on say Google, when overseas customers search say, cocoa exporting companies in Nigeria, you are into cocoa exporting business, your company will automatically appear on the options on Google.
They will click on the link and read more about your company. This is a quick way to get clients. Also, go to people who are into a similar business and collaborate with them.
Some of them may give you the right connection especially if they don’t have the capacity to meet high demands of their customers.
Yes, you can only be told if you are close to them and they have a share from the sales you make from the connection they give you. You must have a functional website that will display all your products, contact numbers, email addresses, and all the necessary information a client will need will be displayed on it.
The Internet has revolutionized the ways we do business because we can comfortably do business from the comfort of our homes using videoconferencing.
Also, you must be willing to attend seminars to meet export business tycoons and stakeholders, and speak with friends and family members who are based overseas to discuss your new business – they might have some advice for you or even give you the right connection to the people you need.
This way you will get the right connection you need to boost your business. Therefore, searching for customers from the Internet and meeting people are key if you wish to export goods to foreign countries from Nigeria.
Other Requirements Needed to Export Goods To Foreign Countries from Nigeria:
- A completed Form NXP issued by Nigerian Custom Service
- A pro forma invoice. An estimated invoice sent by a seller to a buyer in advance of shipment or delivery of goods. It contains information such as transportation charges and quantity of goods with their values
- Sales agreement and NEPC Registration Certificate (where applicable)
- Relevant certificate of quantity as issued by relevant agencies
- Shipping documents like bill of exit, bill of landing, etc.
In summary to export goods to foreign countries from Nigeria is a good business but just like every other huge businesses, most exportation businesses are capital intensive and involves a lot of risks.
Therefore, it is advisable that every new entrant insures the goods to be exported and always use a shipping company with good track records so as to minimize the risks involved in the business.
In addition to this, Nigerian government should continuously slash heavy export duties as a way of encouraging more exportation so as to have a favourable balance of trade which will help eliminate our international trade deficits and stabilize Nigerian economy in the long run in the wake of crashing crude oil prices on the world market.
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