It’s a question that’s been circulating, and last Friday, we found ourselves at the heart of this conversation at the ProvidusBank Non-oil Export Summit in Lagos, Nigeria. This event was a true gem—a gathering of minds, a network of opportunities, and a hub of discussions on how Nigeria’s non-oil sector can take the reins in steering the nation’s economic growth.
Stakeholders from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Customs, and other key players graced the event, each bringing expert perspectives on the untapped potential of Nigeria’s non-oil industries. From the engaging keynotes to the thought-provoking panel discussions, a unanimous consensus emerged: Nigeria must urgently harness the vast potential of its non-oil sectors.
For decades, Nigeria has relied on oil exports as its economic backbone. However, with recent oil price fluctuations and the global shift towards renewable energy, countries blessed with resources like Algeria, Angola, and Saudi Arabia are reassessing their oil-centric strategies. It’s a wake-up call for Nigeria to diversify its revenue streams, secure sustainable growth, boost government income, and generate job opportunities.
📌 Insights from the Summit’s Experts
📍 Embracing Diversification: Walter Akpani of Providus Bank stressed the paramount importance of diversification. He pointed out how fellow oil-producing nations are pivoting towards non-oil industries to brace themselves for a post-oil era. Highlighting the soaring global demand for products like vegetable oil, he urged investments in Nigeria’s rich resources, from oil seeds to fruits and spices, to drive non-oil exports.
📍 Sustainability for Export Success: Entrepreneurs eyeing the non-oil sector must prioritize sustainability in production and packaging. This mindful approach ensures lasting success in the export game.
📍 Nigeria’s textile and garment industries offer huge opportunities for export: Olori Ronke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi’s eloquent presentation celebrated Nigeria’s textile and garment industry. In the 80s and 90s, it was a major player in Africa, employing masses. Today, with the world’s growing appetite for African textiles, Nigeria’s fashion industry holds immense export potential.
📍 Nigeria has a comparative export advantage: Uade Ahime from Nairametrics underscored Nigeria’s export edge. With its young population and fertile lands, Nigeria is primed for agriculture-led exports. A key takeaway: a shift from raw material exports to finished goods.
📍 Structured Financing is Key: Finance will no doubt play a pivotal role in harnessing the huge benefits of the Nigerian export sector. Export finance experts at the event made a strong case for thorough follow-up on export financing from bean to bag to adopt best practices in non-oil export processes. Daniella Jarikre of NEXIM Bank outlined efforts to smooth the financing journey for exporters, a move welcomed by all.
📍 Regulatory reforms are crucial: The panellists—Olasunkanmi Awoyemi, Ikenna Egbukole, Bamidele Ayemibo, and Ajibade Ogunniyi—dissected strategies for the agribusiness and mining sectors. They all agreed that for Nigeria’s non-oil sector to reach its potential, regulatory reforms are essential. A business-friendly regulatory environment is a prerequisite to attracting more investors in the non-oil sector.
Mariam Musa and Aminu Murtala Nyako further enlightened us on agribusiness hurdles and export opportunities in Nigeria’s fashion sector.
Congratulations to ProvidusBank for organizing such an impactful stakeholder dialogue and reinforcing itself as a progressive partner for international trade and export.
At ETK Nigeria and ETK Group, our unwavering commitment to international trade and exports resonates deeply with this event.
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