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How Nigeria can earn billions in FX from non-oil export products

…Yesufu’s perspective

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Nigeria is regarded as the giant of Africa for three major reasons: population, wealth/economy and political influence. In recent times, the country’s reputation has dwindled owing to an unreasonably new low in economy.

Before independence in 1960, and even a few years after, the Nigerian economy was rich and grew because there were a number of products providing foreign exchange for the economy. These were days of agriculture and export of raw materials such as cocoa, rubber, oil palm, and cassava. Also, policies were favourable as smuggling was almost non-existent.

However, the discovery of crude oil in the mid-1950s propelled the country away from agriculture. Since the emergence of oil till date, the Nigerian economy is still heavily reliant on the export of minerals for its foreign exchange earnings. While the revenue got from oil has been significant, it has created numerous problems in the economy considering the volatility of the oil price and the emergence of other oil producing countries.

In 2016, the country experienced economic recession due to the fall in oil prices, which it is yet to fully recover from. Considering the country’s snail-paced economic growth and recovery from recession, it has become necessary to carry out economic diversification that will enable the country earn more from exports.

Bala Yesusfu, director, corporate and government affairs, Cadbury West Africa, in his book entitled ‘Export Architecture Roadmap: The Nigerian and Global Perspectives’ shows the untapped potential in the export space, especially for Nigeria, a country filled with natural resources.

In his book, Yesufu explains in-depth what goes on in the export world, what it requires to become an exporter and eventually the benefits accrued to exporting countries. In his analysis, he outlines diverse possible items that can make Nigeria increase its revenue fast.

He believes that for the government to achieve its economic development goals and reduce dependence on the volatile oil market, exportation of non-oil products is key.

Being a Nigerian himself, the author writes from the view of one who has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of the country’s economy and is therefore passionate to restore the country’s glory as the giant of Africa, which he believes exportation will pave way for.

The 17-chapter book delivers a strong perspective on issues relating to export and possible solutions to overcoming the challenges thereof.

Frank Aigbogun, publisher, BusinessDay Media Limited, who was the book reviewer during the book launch last year, described the book as a bible for those in the export space, stating that it was a timely antidote to the economy’s plight.

“The Book, written to deepen our knowledge on the critical export business, did not only come at the right time, but it serves as a Bible to economic managers, industrialists and potential export managers who see potential in export business,” Aigbogun said.

“The book also details how exporting firms can deal with competition as well as international treaties relevant to an exporter. It explains why corporate governance is key to attracting investors to exporting firms, and why adherence to international standards is a no-brainer.”

Yesufu mentions in his book, the currency swap idea, which according to him, is pulling weight in businesses, especially in the international space, listing the possible benefits this will provide for exporting countries.

Without doubt, the author foresees a brighter future and maps out ideas that will serve as routes to achieving economic prosperity and development in Nigeria.

 

Gbemi Faminu

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