By Gloria Abutu
The North East with diverse exportable products capable of driving economic growth for sustainable development of the country.
Stakeholders gave the indication during a one-day capacity building workshop on ‘The Role of Pre-shipment Inspection Agents in Export’, organized by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council NEPC in Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
In a welcome address, the North East Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, John Okorie explained that the federal government appointed Pre-shipment Inspection Agents to ensure compliance with quality standards, technical specifications and contractual agreements to bolster Nigerian products on the international market.
“Export business requires many hands to ensure proper things are done , hence the need to religiously follow procedures in export. The agents ensure goods are handled safely, and correctly and arrive at their place of destination in compliance with the acceptable standards”, he explained.
Okorie who said Nigeria is endowed with abundant natural resources, noted that most of the products exported from the country were sourced from the North East region.
The Regional Coordinator said, “From the latest report we have for first quarter 2023, about 167 products were exported and these products are part of what we have in the north east. They include sesame seed, soya beans, Urea and other fertilizer, as well as other agricultural products; other semi and fully manufactured products were also exported.”
“The point is that people take products from the North East and export from other places”, he restated.
He also revealed that plans are underway to establish an export warehouse in Adamawa state, the first of its kind in the North East region, in order to stimulate non-oil export and address the rejection of Nigerian products in the global market.
The Permanent Secretary, Adamawa state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Rifkatu Gwandi said Pre-shipment Inspection will help to improve Nigeria’s image in the world and stressed the need for total diversification of the Nigerian economy so as to increase the revenue base of the nation.
“I give credit to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council for their efforts at diversifying, promoting and repositioning non-oil export sector and for upscaling export activities in the North East region”, she said.
Declaring the workshop open, Gwandi motivated people to engage in non-oil international business, saying, “there is the need for a drift from oil export, therefore, the little you do in your village, bring it out, be an ambassador of non-oil export. Then we will know what we have, and use it to develop our country to position us in the forefront, even in the world.”
According to her, the need to identify, protect, support and promote homegrown products can not be overemphasized.
Also speaking at the programme, the Customs Area Controller, Adamawa/Taraba command, Abdullahi Kazaure who was represented by Chief Superintendent Ishaya Haruna pointed out that to maintain products’ standard and legitimacy, Pre-shipment Inspection is mandatory for successful global transaction.
According to him, “Pre-shipment Inspection is an essential phase in quality control. There are technical considerations, terms and conditions for export. You must obtain the CCI, that is, Clean Certificate of Inspection from the Pre-shipment Inspection Agents to facilitate your export”.
He added that the promotion of non-oil exports will drive economic growth and development of the country.
“Nigeria was one of the major exporters of agricultural products before the discovery of oil. Export helps us to maximize our foreign exchange. To revive our economy, the only way out is promotion of non-oil export”, he noted.
Participants who attended the workshop appreciated the NEPC for organizing the programme, describing it as insightful.
They called for more training opportunities to equip them with requisite skills for successful export.