Here are two shocking statistics for you: Nigeria is the 27nd largest exporting country in the world but 90.85% of its exports come from the oil sector.
The Nigerian Government is now trying to encourage exports from other parts of the economy. It’s perhaps no wonder then that Nigerians like you are asking how to export goods from Nigeria to other countries?
Check out our ultimate guide on how to start an export business in Nigeria below…
Perhaps it sounds simple but the first step to take is choosing a business name for your export business in Nigeria.
The name should be professional, easy to remember and most importantly not be the same as an existing business name.
How do you know if a name is already taken?
You should also ask a lawyer to check whether the name is registered as a trademark in the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry in Nigeria.
Once you have settled on a name, it’s time to set up a website for your business.
I can’t stress how crucial a website is for your export business.
After all, every potential customer will look at your business before doing business with you.
To set up a website, register your domain names at Go Daddy and WhoGoHost. You will also need hosting for your website which can be purchased through Nigerian websites such as Web4Africa or Hostgator.
Once you’ve picked your name and set up an online presence, the time has come to pick a product to export from Nigeria.
Let’s start with what you cannot export from Nigeria.
According to the Nigeria Customs Service, everything on the Nigeria Export Prohibition List below is a big no-no:
So, what can you export from Nigeria?
To answer this question, we need to get into the mindset of why countries such as the US might want to import from Nigeria…
According to Entrepreneur, there are 3 reasons:
You’ve found a product to export from Nigeria, now you need to find someone to buy it!
The trick is spotting trends.
If you can find a country to place a product just before it becomes a huge seller then, then you’re in luck.
After you have chosen a destination country, now is the time to find a supplier of your product within Nigeria.
Like most things in Naija, you can rely on word of mouth.
When thinking about how to export goods from Nigeria, you need to ask your supplier:
Is there a way to improve this product?
Can we make changes to the product that would appeal more to the target export product?
Let me give you an example: Nigeria is the seventh largest exporter of Cashew nuts in the world. If you were a Nigerian exporter of Cashew nuts, you could think about adding flavours to the Cashew nuts or turning the Cashew nuts into a butter or oil.
One discussion you will definitely need to have with your supplier is how to price your product for export from Nigeria.
Once you have agreed a price for the product, you will know what your cost is for a given volume of goods.
You then should price your goods high enough so that you make a mark-up on the costs (typically 10% – 15%) but low enough so that your customer will be willing to buy them.
Of course, higher volumes will make you more money. So the aim is to export as many goods as possible.
We’re now at the penultimate and most crucial stage in answering the question of how to export goods from Nigeria to other countries: finding customers for your export goods.
If you have succeeded in building a presentable website (see Step #1 above), then customers will find you.
Like that famous line from the movie Field of Dreams:
“If you build it, they will come”.
But this approach is limited somewhat. You should also reach out to prospective customers.
There are different methods to doing this. One way is to attend international or local Nigerian trade affairs in the hope of meeting customers.
Another method is to speak with the NEPC as well as Nigerian chambers of commerce and embassies in the region to which you are importing.
The final step in setting up an export business in Nigeria is getting the paperwork right.
Firstly, you need to register with the Nigerian Export Promotional Council (NEPC).
The next step is completing and registering something called the Form NXP with a commercial or merchant bank. The NXP Form will contain the following information:
This NXP Form is crucial as it will be sent to government bodies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Maritime Authority (NMA and the National Customs Service (NCS).
Other documents you will need are a sales contract with the buyer, bill of lading or exit, NEPC registration certificate and a proforma invoice.
Setting up an export business in Nigeria is tough work. But it can be exceptionally rewarding. In fact, exporting goods is one of the fastest growing businesses in Nigeria today.
I hope this article has helped you understand how to start export business in Nigeria.
Whether your chosen good is charcoal or ginger or something else, the basic steps are the same: (1) set up a website, (2) pick a product, (3) find an export market, (4) locate a supplier, (5) price the product, (6) search for customers, and (7) fill in the paperwork.
Btw – if you’ve found our piece useful, then check out our insanely useful article on 37 ways of making money in Nigeria.
Have you successfully set up an an export business in Nigeria? If so, please comment below and share your thoughts on how to export goods from Nigeria to other countries.