As foreign exchange scarcity bights harder and rate of Dollar goes as high as N620 per Dollar, an expert and export resource person has advised importers to save their businesses by joining the export trade.
Ofon Udofia, executive director, Nigerian Institute of Export operations and Management (IEOM) with headquarters in Port Harcourt, advised importers last week at a lecture for budding exporters at the Eco Bank Rumuola Road branch, to save their business by sourcing forex through export.
Speaking at the Introduction to Export workshop, Udofia urged importers to try their hands in export business to build up foreign exchange to help out in the face of foreign exchange scarcity and high rising Dollar rate.
He said importers are now at huge risk due to ever-rising cost of foreign exchange, saying it is threatening to knock them out of business.
He said since the government will allow an exporter to use the forex earning to import, it would be advisable for importers to join the export business and explore that window.
He wondered why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would pay exporters at the first window price of the Dollar (N415) whereas the same exporters bought the Dollar at N620.
The Executive Director said there is need for export companies to b established by states in the Niger Delta to facilitate export business in the surge of interest by their citizens in the recent times.
Udofia revealed that export promotion activities have been heightened in recent times due to the promotional activities and training sessions by the Nigeria Export promotion Council (NEPC) in the region and the Institute of Export Operations and Management.
He said many investors are eager to join export business but have many hindrances such as certification of their products, adequate capital, and numerous registration and inspection processes.
He called for the establishment of export companies that can mop up the capitals and funds in various pockets and handle the exports and pay investors agreed dividends. He said state governments can help in setting up these companies and allow private experts to run them. He said the states in the South-South can sent up one or go separately per state.
Udofia also advised exporters in the region to make use of the Domestic Export Warehouses (DEWs) in the region for export and avoid use of terminal operators warehouses where he feared that charges were very exorbitant, such that the profit margin for a product may be wiped off by such and other high charges.
During the workshop, an official of Eco Bank, Monte Offiong, showed the participants various bank facilities that exporters would need to support their businesses.
She described the workshop as the first of its kind in the branch and said the bank and the exporters are in for a good journey of mutual benefits.
In an online presentation from an expert from the headquarters of the bank, the budding exporters who have formed a cooperative were told that export is sale of goods and services across borders.
The presenter hinted that export is regulated by the FG through the CBN. He urged them to take note of export prohibited list and that there are incentives for exporting and getting the payment/fund repatriated.
On requirements for export, he mentioned need to register with the NEPC, to open an export account, to open a Naira account, to fill the NXP Form, to note various fees to pay, note the eight risks of export, etc.
He showed how Eco Bank would support the exporters and alerted them about the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) that has removed trade barriers in Africa.
He assured them of the preparedness of the bank to support exporters that have found buyers in Africa’s over 1,2Bn people that make a large market. “Eco Bank is willing to help exporters in penetrating this market. Contact us if you get a buyer in Africa. Take note of the protocol of goods and protocol of services.”