The director of products development at the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Henry Otowo, has said that Nigeria now exports over 90 different non-oil products to 103 countries around the world.
He provided the information at the export business roundtable for Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) awardees in Lagos.
Otowo said that the council has been able to diversify the product base of the economy away from crude oil, as well as foster market-oriented, private sector driven economy.
He mentioned some of the export products, which include leather, rubber, aluminum, wood, plastics, prawns, fish, cashew, gum Arabic, ice making machines, and robusta coffee. Others include high density polyethylene, cut flowers, mica muscovite, reduced iron and iron pellets.
He added that the council’s major agenda was to make every Nigerians very conscious of the nation’s non-oil export potential, adding that Nigeria’s exports have recorded over 50 per cent increase over the years according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Otowo however stated that Nigerian exporters are inhibited by varied constraints that affect production and they include restricted access to credit, infrastructure deficiency and weak logistics to support supply chain. Others are external barriers, power inadequacy and low productive capacity.
He urged the manufacturers to keep up and not be distracted by the challenges. He said that “challenges are a process that we must surpass because at the end of the day, manufacturing is a worthwhile and rewarding activity not only for the manufacturers but also for the Nigerian economy.
The Director of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, who spoke on the NIS product certification awards, said the award is a voluntary scheme that aims to reward excellent product performance through consistent compliance with the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards, over a period of time. He added that the award of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond are given according to the number of years a product complies with stipulated standards.
He explained that the objective of the NIS award is to encourage production of excellent quality products and healthy competition through consistent compliance with relevant standards in order to encourage continual improvement of quality of products and production process by the manufacturing industry in the country.
Odumodu said the scheme also provides confidence in such a way that product purchased will not only meet intended use but will offer value for money and compete favourably on the international markets.
He said: “SON will continue to work with experts and relevant stakeholders to ensure that benefits of standardisation are actualised and that continual patronage of made in Nigeria products is sustained.”