How to Start Your Export Business in Nigeria

Export is the sales of goods to different countries. This usually requires the demands of the global market.

In Nigeria, anyone can export goods and services to other countries across the world.This would basically require abiding by the regulation of the The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Requirements For Starting And Import/Export Business In Nigeria

  • Register The Business
  • Register With The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
  • Register With Customs By Completing The Form NXP
  • Obtain Special Licences And Permits For The Goods You’re Dealing In
  • Verify Your Products Are Not On The Prohibited Goods List
  • Get Your Insurance Covered
  • Partner With A Freight Forwarding Service Company To Ship Your Goods

What To Export Out Of Nigeria

Nigeria has a lot of natural resources that are in demand in other countries and therefore can be exported.

Some of these products include.

a. Sesame Seed

Nigeria is one of the top global producers and exporters of sesame with many years of stable production. Nigeria is the 7th largest producer of sesame seed worldwide and about 80% of her production is exported.

It contains relatively high nutritional content with health benefits, and 99% minimum purity. The demand for the seed keeps growing at the rate of 4% yearly and two of its important destinations include the Middle East and Asia.

b. Nut

Cashew nut, Kola nut, and other kinds of nuts are said to have high health benefits therefore, they are on high demand in the international space.

Nigeria covers about 20% of world in-shell cashew production and is a leading exporter of cashew nuts and the fourth-largest producer worldwide. The major importers are India and Vietnam.

c. Bitter Kola

Bitter (Gracinia) kola is in great demand in countries like America, Japan, India, France, Britain, Germany, China, and other Asian countries. It is mostly found in African countries and Nigeria is one of its largest exporters.

d. Ginger & Garlic

This is one of the most traded spices in the world. Its health benefit is limitless and as such is in high demand. They are readily available and can be exported with ease.

e. Charcoal

There are different types of charcoal to export. There are hardwood charcoal, charcoal briquettes, BBQ Charcoal, and Shisha Charcoal. It is produced in places like Nassarawa, Jebba, Oyo, Egbe e.t.c. and is one of the most exported products in 2019.

Also, the quality of the charcoal produced in Nigeria is one of the best in the world. Hence, Asian, European and American countries make high demands from us.

f. Cassava

Nigeria produces almost a third more volume of cassava compared to other African countries, including Malawi, Cameroon, Mozambique, Benin, Rwanda, Madagascar, Uganda.

Also, over 800 million people world-wide depend on cassava as a regular source of energy. For example, Cassava tubers may be processed into different kinds of products such as chips, starch, pellets, flakes et.c. All of these are in high demand in UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, and other countries.

g. Cocoa

Nigeria exports thousand tons of cocoa on a yearly basis, with an increase by 20% from 2016 to 2017.  It is the fourth-largest producer, covering a 6.5% share of global production, with a 4% growth projection per annum in subsequent years.

Also, the cocoa beans account for almost 90% of the 804 million USD of Nigerian cocoa exports. Cocoa butter and cocoa paste are exported quite significantly. It is in high demand in Netherland, USA, Malaysia, Belgium and other countries.

h. Plantain Flour

Nigeria is the world’s fourth largest producer of plantains, with 2.8 million MT annually after Ghana with 3.6 million MT according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FOA).

Apart from the local demand for plantain flour in Nigeria, large number of Nigerians and other Africans living in Europe, America and Asia has made packaged plantain flour export business lucrative.

i. Edible Oil

There are several kinds of edible oil in Nigeria and each of them is fit for exportation. Palm oil, palm kernel oil, sesame seed oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, and others are in high demand in Asia, India, Netherland, Italy e.t.c.

For instance, palm kernel oil can be used for manufacturing creams, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and confectioneries. These oils are said to be rich in protein and other classes of food nutrients.

j. Fruits And Juices

Nigeria is a blessed nation with diverse kinds of fruits that are highly beneficial to humanity. These fruits are considered exotic in international countries therefore, they are in high demand. From fruit, one can produce different kinds of juice and package for export.

Also, other agricultural products you can sell are; cocoa, chilli pepper, bean flour, potato, ginger beer, kilishi, soybean, honey, snail, catfish, butter, medicinal plant, full cream, etc.


Challenges Of The Import/Export Business

  • Financing and loans
  • Unstable exchange rates
  • Customs and taxes
  • Natural factors like drought, pests, and diseases for agricultural products
  • Sourcing from reliable suppliers
  • High and unstable product pricing
  • Logistics costs
  • Poor product modification to meet international standards
  • Getting export license and documentation
  • Government policies always interrupt long-term contracts

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