• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Exporters in Rivers and Bayelsa zone are hampered by poor packaging – NEPC new zonal coordinator

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Exporters in Rivers and Bayelsa states are said to suffer poor packaging in their drive for the export market.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) which made this discovery said the two states no doubt have new crop of registered exporters with viable products but many amongst them lack the basic knowledge on good packaging and branding for export.

The new Zonal Coordinator of NEPC in Port Harcourt, Ahmed Ganiyu, revealed this at a one-day workshop at Juanita Hotel in the Old GRA put together to help exporters overcome this difficulty.

The new Zonal Coordinator said in his welcome remarks that it was with the intent to address the lingering issues around poor packaging and branding that NEPC deemed it expedient to organize the workshop.

He said this would hopefully equip the exporters, especially the newly registered ones, with necessary knowledge on the subject. “This would enable them to actively contribute their quota in the development of the nation through non-oil export.”

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To get this task done, Ganiyu said NEPC carefully procured an expert, Kayode Oluwafemi, the CEO/Managing Consultant, De-Praimmare Consulting Limited, who handled the topic: ‘Effective Packaging and Branding of Products for Export’.

Oluwafemi is indicated as a certified trainer by the International Trade Centre (ITC) with over 13 years of exposure in small and medium enterprises (SME) Growth Consulting.

The Zonal Coordinator said the training was in part of schemes by the NEPC to push ahead the campaign on ‘Export for Survival’ geared toward the diversification of Nigeria’s economy through promotion of non-oil export. “The subject holds invaluable importance in the value chain of successful export business.

“Without excellent packaging and branding, goods for export stand the risk of rejection by prospective buyers, and attraction of losses for the producer.”

He said packaging is the act of enclosing or protecting a product to aid its distribution, identification, storage, etc. Branding, on the other hand, is the process of creating a distinct identity for business in the mind of targeted audience and consumers. “The importance of packaging and branding in international trade cannot be over-emphasized as good products with poor packaging and branding are bound to face rejection or low patronage.”

Supporting the concept, Evelyn Kobo, Head, Product and Market Department of NEPC, harped on documentation, saying if this is not correct and complete, no matter how good your product is, you cannot export.

Kobo went on: “Only incorporated businesses or cooperative societies have the right to export. Obey export guidelines such as full documentation, opening of domiciliary account, payment of Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) fee which is 0.5 per cent, Clean certificate of inspection, and evidence of repatriation of all or almost all the value of export.’

She said there were many things such as leather, cashew nuts, charcoal, etc that could be exported but warned that there are prohibited ones such as maize and scrap iron.

In his main lecture, the expert, Oluwafemi, insisted that packaging speaks for an exporter where he or she is not. “It also minimizes losses in handling, and makes movement of goods possible. It is part of value addition as well as provides information about the product background.

“There are levels of packaging: primary, secondary, tertiary. All is to contain, protect, inform, facilitate. As an exporter, find out how the buyers out there want it packaged.”

The director-general of the City Chamber, Ersasmus Chukunda, said the PHCCIMA is impressed with NEPC leadership in the South-South. “We work together to boost export business.

“PHCCIMA supports much in place of origin requirement in export of goods. PHCCIMA is ever ready to partner with NEPC more and more.

“Packaging and branding are very critical in trade even at local level. For export, you must know the right packaging, if not your goods are rejected abroad.”