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Event Report on the Non-Oil Exporter Dialogue

As Nigeria looks to diversify its economy from oil, a major challenge would be tackling ‘before
the border’ and ‘beyond the border’ issues around non-oil products and services to enable the
required competitiveness that would bring socio-economic transformation.
At the heart of this are a mass of MSMEs who hold the economic opportunities for job creation
and economic dependency. So far, these MSMEs involved in formal and informal cross border
trade and non-oil export, have been unable to compete favourably in the global trade value chain
due to stifling challenges in the business environment. Thus far, the path to export reforms has
been onerous as this segment of economic agents has been absent in in trade debates (WTO
2016).
It is in this regard the PDF II Trade work stream seeks to engage with non-oil export groups and
stakeholder organisations and individuals with the aim of:
• Enabling underrepresented export oriented voices in economic policy.
• Strengthening exporter groups’ participation in trade sustainably.
To start the process, a Non-Oil Exporter Dialogue was held on the 31st of August 2017 with key
stakeholders like NEPC, EBES and NESG in attendance. The in-depth conversations kicked off
with a presentation on preliminary findings of a study on Exporter Experience. The study set out
to determine the gap(s) between trade regulators prescriptions for non-oil exports and the actual
experiences of trade operators; contribute to creating a business environment that enables
MSMEs participate competitively in the international market; create a monitoring instrument for
the on-going reform of business environment in Nigeria; and provide a guide for reform
proposals and dialogue between public institutions and trade operators. Early results from the
study showed that regulators do not adhere to their own set operational guidelines and
prescriptions for trade operations. The ones that adhere to the guidelines do not add value to
the export value chain; Institutions have full knowledge and widely publicize the executive
orders of FGN, but it has not translated into significant gains for trade operators. Summary
conversations from this session expressed the need for not just reforms in principle but for
reforms to match realities.
The full event report is available here Non Oil Exporter Experience Dialogue Event Final Report

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