Though export has been identified as a viable substitute for foreign exchange in the country, the European Union has banned the importation of some categories of agricultural produce in the country to some EU countries due to poor packaging and standardization by Nigerian exporters.
To this end, Nigerian businessmen have been advised to do a good job on the products they want to send out to the outside world if they hope to succeed.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr Hassan Bello who described export trade as the hallmark for diversification of the national economy, said those involved in the business have to work hard for their products to be accepted overseas.
Bello who identified the problem with Nigeria export as infrastructure deficit and poor access to finance said that the companies involved in export should work hard on standardization and packaging to succeed.
It has been observed that Nigeria export products are rejected overseas as a result of poor standards and packaging.
In some cases, exporters engage in fraudulent practices by obtaining fake certificates for their products, this was the case in some of the goods that were rejected by oversea buyers.
The Executive Secretary said, “Many of our exports are rejected and brought back to Nigeria because they don’t conform to standard. We need mahogany for example, this is the thickness, this is the specification and everything, and then you have to have standard organisation here in Nigeria certifying them, saying they are up to standard for export, but this is not done. Some of the certificates are fake.”
On packaging, Bello said that some traders do not bother about preserving what they are exporting, adding that this has led to some products not being able to withstand the stress of the sea time before they get to the market.
He said, “We package to withstand the journey by sea and some Nigerian brothers, they don’t know that if you have a product, it goes through a lot of changes; chemical changes. If you have sorghum for example, the volume will change, it will expand, it will go through a lot of things. So you have to package your product to withstand the temperature.