Want to start an exportation business in Nigeria? Or are you a small or medium-sized business owner in Nigeria with dreams of expanding your horizons beyond the local market? 

Well, this article is for you as you will learn here you can start your exportation business in Nigeria.

Starting an exportation business in Nigeria might be the key to unlocking a world of business opportunities for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to kickstart your export venture. 

From choosing the right products to export to finding buyers and navigating the complexities of international trade.

What is an exportation business? 

Exportation is the selling of goods produced in your country (Nigeria) to international markets. It’s a strategic move that can open doors to increased revenue and global recognition for your brand or business.

According to John Akin, a seasoned export consultant, “Starting an exportation business can diversify your revenue streams and reduce your dependence on the local market. It’s a strategic move for small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow.”

Benefits of starting an exportation business in Nigeria

Why should you consider exporting your products from Nigeria? The benefits are enormous:

  • Diversification of revenue: By entering new markets, you reduce your dependency on the local economy.
  • Increased profit potential: International markets may offer higher margins for your products.
  • Global brand exposure: Exporting can elevate your brand’s reputation on a global scale.
  • Government incentives: The Nigerian government offers a number of incentives and support programs to exporters. This can make it easier and more affordable to start and grow an export business.

Did you know that Nigeria’s non-oil exports reached $2.81 billion in 2021, according to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)? This is to show you how much exportation going on in Nigeria today.

Also Read: How To Start A Mini Importation Business In Nigeria

Examples of popular products you can export from Nigeria

Let’s explore some export-ready business ideas that small and medium-sized business owners in Nigeria can afford to pursue:

  • African fashion and clothing: Nigeria boasts a vibrant fashion industry. Traditional and contemporary clothing can find a global market.

Examples: Ankara prints, agbada, adire, kaftans.

  • Health and beauty products: Natural products like shea butter, black soap, or oragnic cosmetics, and herbal remedies are in demand internationally.
  • Specialty foods and spices: Nigerian spices, snacks, garri, and beverages are increasingly popular worldwide.
  • Eco-friendly products: Handmade crafts, eco-friendly home goods, and recyclable materials are sustainable export options.

How to choose the right products to export

Selecting the right products is the foundation of a successful exportation business. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Consider the demand: Research the demand for your products in the target markets. Tools like market research and trend analysis can help you identify hot products.
  • Assess your resources: Evaluate your production capabilities, resources, and capacity to meet international demand. Ensure your production can scale effectively.
  • Research the competition: Understand your competition in the target markets. Study their pricing, marketing strategies, and product quality.
  • Legal and regulatory requirements: Be aware of the legal and regulatory requirements for exporting your chosen products. Compliance is essential to avoid delays and penalties.

As export specialist Maria Ojo puts it, “Choosing the right product is crucial. Your product should be aligned with your expertise, resources, and the market’s needs. Remember that quality and compliance are paramount.”

Also Read: Top 10 Cheapest Business Ideas to Start in Nigeria (2023)

How to find buyers and negotiate contracts

Once you have identified what to export, it is time to find buyers and establish contracts:

  • Identify potential buyers: Look for potential buyers through online directories, industry-specific trade shows, and industry networks. Platforms like Alibaba or TradeIndia can be valuable resources.
  • Contact potential buyers: Reach out to potential buyers and introduce your products. Your pitch should highlight the unique selling points of your goods.
  • Negotiate contracts: Negotiations with buyers can be complex, covering aspects like price, terms of payment, and shipping arrangements. Carefully review and understand all aspects of the contract before finalizing.

According to a recent survey, 85% of Nigerian exporters found their international buyers through online channels and industry networks.

“When negotiating contracts, it’s important to be clear about your needs and expectations. Be sure to get everything in writing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lawyer or other professional.” – Nkechi Nwosu, CEO of Nwosu Exports

Export regulations and procedures

Exporting goods from Nigeria comes with specific regulations and procedures:

  • Register your business: Start by registering your business with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). This step is crucial for gaining access to resources and support.
  • Obtain licenses and permits: Acquire the necessary export licenses and permits. The NEPC can guide you through this process.
  • Prepare your goods: Ensure your products are prepared for export. This includes proper packaging and labeling to meet international standards.
  • Customs declaration: Declare your goods to customs and make shipping arrangements. Proper documentation is vital to clear customs smoothly.

Shipping and logistics

Efficient shipping and logistics are essential to ensure your goods reach their destination without hassle:

  • Choose a shipping method: Select an appropriate shipping method and carrier based on factors like the type of products, destination, and urgency.
  • Book your shipment: Once you’ve made your choice, book your shipment and arrange for pickup.
  • Track your shipment: Keep track of your shipment and provide regular updates to your buyer. Transparency and communication are key.
  • Expert insight: Logistics consultant, Yemi Ogundele, advises, “Choosing the right shipping method can significantly impact your costs and delivery times. Careful planning is essential.”

Resources and support for exporters in Nigeria

As a budding exporter, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Here are some valuable resources and support:

  • Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC): NEPC offers a wide range of resources, training, and support to Nigerian exporters. Visit their website or contact them for assistance.
  • Export credit guarantee and insurance corporation (NEXIM): NEXIM provides financial and credit support to Nigerian exporters.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN): SMEDAN offers resources and training tailored to small and medium-sized businesses, including those involved in export.

Final thoughts on the exportation business in Nigeria

Now that you have a comprehensive guide to starting your exportation business in Nigeria, it’s time to take action. Explore further, learn more about the export process, and consider reaching out to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for assistance. Your journey to becoming a successful exporter starts here!

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