Annual Nigeria exports goods reached $40bn in value according to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
That’s the figure of informally traded goods though, calculated by the International Trade Centre in Geneva, with the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) posting the value of trade at $8bn.
CEO of the NEPC, Segun Awolowo, said that: “We want to work with NACCIMA to formalise this informal trade. We have to work with your chambers in all the states of the federation. We have to give these small business owners incentives that will make it better for them to do business.
“We have 11 non-oil sectors where we can earn foreign exchange and one of them is the petrochemical sector, which is a $150bn global market,” he added.
“Nigeria is not playing in this market because it is importing, but we are a petrol economy and that is where the paradox lies.”
An Export Development Fund has been established in Nigeria to support small business in particular with a pre-shipment incentive to help startups grow and export.
Read more: 5 potentially lucrative export markets
Nigeria has enjoyed a GDP boom over the last decade with strong growth forecasts into 2018. Responsible for 40% all of imports into Western Africa, there are real opportunities for new businesses to do trade in the country, in particular within automotive, marine, financial and health-care sectors.