An exporter, HRM Adaku Chidume-Okoro has emphasized the need for improved hygienic conditions while processing agricultural produce into finished goods. The seminar, themed ‘Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-Oil Export Business’, is part of Zenith Bank’s efforts to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiatives to grow the country’s non-oil export sector.
Adaku Chidume made the call at the 2022 International Trade Seminar on Non-Oil Exports, organized by Zenith Bank at the civic center, Lagos. Mrs. Okoro, the Group Managing Director of Gum Arabic Company Nigeria (GACON) said that it was imperative to boost export and successfully diversify Nigeria’s economy.
She expressed concern that made-in-Nigeria products were not receiving the desired patronage due to hygiene concerns. Her view was aired in the virtual seminar which drew participation from trade practitioners, both local and foreign exporters, manufacturers, financial institutions, and government agencies.
In her contribution, she suggested ways in which solutions to the Non-oil export sector challenges will be categorized into Short Term, medium-term and long-term. According to her, the international community is not in a hurry to buy our products because they believe the hygiene under which our products are being processed is not good enough.
“They instead buy semi-processed goods from us which is the challenge we are having with the CBN RT200 scheme.
“The international community does not trust our processing environment, they have food security and hygiene concerns so they want to buy the semi-processed goods they can subject to further processing,” she said.
The forum allowed participants, including relevant government agencies, to explore ways to unlock the opportunities in Nigeria’s non-oil export. It provided the opportunity for all participants, including relevant government agencies, to explore ways to unlock the opportunities in Nigeria’s non-oil export sector.
HRH Adaku further stressed the need to encourage and empower farmers working with exporters in the value chain with more funding. “Some of these people have no funding and no collateral to go for bank loans. I mean the women and youths, the downtrodden, they are the ones servicing the major exporters.
The event drew participation from trade practitioners, local and foreign exporters, manufacturers, financial institutions and government agencies.
“We need to look in their direction because farmers are no longer going to the farms to farm, she said…
“While farming they are chased away and that is affecting output,” she said, The panel discussions were divided into three during the seminar.
In the first panel, titled “unlocking opportunities in Nigeria’s non-oil export business: operators/practitioners’ perspectives”, HRH Adaku Chidume Okoro, managing director, GACON Ltd focuses on the value chain and prospects of the non-oil export sector and has five discussants.
The second panel, titled “funding/logistics/government support for the non-oil export sector”, explored the availability of long-term funds, insurance & reinsurance, and risk-sharing mechanisms for the non-oil export sector.
The third-panel discussion, titled “The ABC of non-oil export”, was on the pitfalls in the non-oil export business, standardization and grading of primary export products, as well as the export of services, especially in the burgeoning Nigerian creative industry.
Meanwhile, the keynote was delivered by Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group while Jim Ovia; Founder and Chairman of the bank, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene and President/Chairman, African Export-Import Bank, Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah delivered goodwill messages.