Micro, small and medium-scale enterprises are significantly represented among businesses involved in formal and informal cross-border trade and non-oil export, but many are unable to participate competitively due to challenges in the business environment. To support efforts to effectively position Nigeria’s micro, small and medium-scale enterprises for the global market, Policy Development Facility Phase II organised a series of forums aimed at improving access to finance for non-oil exporters and at developing non-oil exports in Nigeria. This report summarises the sixth forum in the series, and focuses on ‘Improving Trade Competitiveness and Business Environment in the South East’.
In June 2015 the Central Bank of Nigeria restricted the sale of foreign currency for the purchase of certain items following a slump in government revenue resulting from a decline in crude oil prices. The decision aimed to conserve foreign reserves, facilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries and improve employment generation, but proved unpopular, particularly due to its unintended impact on small businesses.
Against this background, the Central Bank of Nigeria forex policy dialogue was held in September 2015 to examine the impact of the foreign exchange policy on small and medium-sized businesses and citizens, gain a better understanding of the bank’s plans and seek alternatives and next steps. This event report sums up the key messages to emerge from the dialogue.
The Non-Oil Export Community of Practice became the vehicle through which exporter voices became heard and grew in strength and in numbers. By the end of the PDF II program, the Community of Practice was formalised into a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) called the ‘Network of Practicing Non-Oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN)’ to continue the efforts initiated during the PDF II. NPNEN was set up as an umbrella platform for collaboration among the different actors in Nigeria’s non-oil export value chain. NPNEN convened its major flagship event, the annual Non-oil Export Conference, Exhibition and Awards (NECEA) which is also a vehicle for actualizing its objectives.
The 2021 NECEA brought together critical stakeholders in the non-oil sector including top officials of government, civil society, private sector, the media, and academia to dialogue on how to refocus the country’s non-oil sector, for more effective participation in global trade, especially within the framework of the recently operationalized African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Given also the current state of Nigeria’s economy as evident in the downward spiraling of the Naira, there is certainly a need to revitalize the economy primarily through non-oil exports. The NECEA was a good medium to beam the spotlight on the alternative to oil as the mainstay of the economy.
The Trade Policy Work Stream started out by conducting a needs assessment to get direct feedback from export-oriented MSMEs, export-supporting government institutions, and export business service providers to ascertain the capacity gaps. The top 5 challenges highlighted by the respondents include lack of market linkages, lack of finance, lack of market intelligence, limited knowledge of destination country requirements, and Export documentation.
Respondents were further asked about what they would like to see if there is an opportunity for assistance with capacity building for export readiness and export market access. Each responded provided its top 3 areas of preference for capacity building. The findings from the overall assessment provided a guide on areas to address.
In response to their needs, TRD workstream designed a targeted capacity building for the non-oil export community of practice to address the knowledge and skill gaps through a 4-part Export Capacity Building (CB) Series.
Analysis of the Potentials of Nigeria’s Services Sector for Economic Diversification, Employment, and Foreign Trade.
A roundtable event on the potentials of exporting the services sector in Nigeria. At the Roundtable, it was noted that among business owners and exporters, there is little understanding of what services export entails. Many businesses engage in service exports but are not aware of this. Understanding the four modes of services – Cross border trade, Consumption abroad, Commercial presence, and Presence of natural persons – is important for business growth. To achieve this, stakeholders including the NEPC will need to conduct capacity building and sensitisation workshops for exporters, working with relevant business associations.
Detailed report of events that held on February 6, 2020 at Fraser Suites Abuja.
This event report summarises the discussions and key messages to emerge from a dialogue held to discuss the impact of a decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria to restrict the sale of foreign currency.
This event report summarises the key issues and themes to emerge from a high-level summit to discuss youth employment in Nigeria.
This report summarises the discussions and key points raised at a launch event to disseminate the findings of a paper on supporting economic transformation in Nigeria.
This event report summarises the discussions at a workshop to explore the potential of franchising in Nigeria.