NACC takes steps to bolster Nigeria’s export indices


By Henri Uche, Lagos

Operators in the Nigerian export sector may have reason to smile as the new President of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Dame Adebola Williams, has pledged to increase the volume and value of Nigeria’s exports to America.

Upon her decoration as the 19th President of the NACC, she pledged to strengthen trade relations between Nigeria and the United States of America to consolidate Nigeria’s export indices.

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Williams also said her administration would work to stimulate activities and programs aimed at enabling chamber members to package their products for export to the United States, as she appreciates trade section chief David Russell. Lagos Consulate, US Embassy.

“No country survives without a massive amount of exports. So, at NACC, we will spare no effort to ensure that Nigeria benefits more from the products exported to the United States. Our members will thus benefit a lot from our professional members: In technical know-how, packaging and other relevant support. We want to ensure that we offer quality, well-packaged products that meet international standards and are accepted, we cannot afford to be left behind,” she said.

In a remark, President of Phillips Consulting Limited (pcl) Foluso Phillips, who spoke on “Nigeria America Trade Relations” – Back To The Drawing Board, said that most countries, endowed with many natural resources, the would use to finance their industrialization.

The Philips boss claimed that conventional wisdom says that Nigeria should have used our oil revenues to boost our natural competitive advantage by developing skills in the agricultural value chain.

“We need to strengthen our core competencies, add value to our comparative advantage and maximize returns. The United States has developed unparalleled skills in technology and innovation like many other countries where it has comparative advantages. Nigeria should have taken advantage of its abundant human and natural resources, but we lost them when all eyes were on oil,”

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“Today South Africa derives more value to its economy from a liter of wine we buy from it than from a liter of crude oil we sell to it. t is shipping crude oil mined from the ground and shipped without even touching our shores.The winemaker in South Africa cultivates his vines on acres of land, employs thousands of people on the wine farms, tends and cares for the grapes , harvesting, processing, storage, bottling, packaging, merchandising, branding, advertising, shipping and logistics and exporting, touching the lives of so many people and creating wealth in the process.

“It’s a shame that the value of our oil revenues is running out because we have to import refined products and then subsidize their sale to the detriment of our development and growth,”

The famous industrial economist asked where is Nigeria’s core competency? Say, “We missed the boat, but the destination hasn’t changed. Nigeria today does not have the mechanical, technical or technological competence to be what I call a “producing nation” of heavy metals.

“Basic natural skills (apart from traditional education), trust in the people, their application of skills, and global leadership in technology and continuous innovation, give a country a continued leadership position”,

“We therefore have a great opportunity to change the paradigm of Nigeria’s trade policy, which has so far been challenged due to our industrial incapacities,”

He pointed out that it has become so clear that the only areas in which Nigeria is making a name for itself are those in which the government has nothing to do with it.

The management consultant gave an analysis: “According to data credited to the Federation of State Medical Boards, there are 3,895 Nigerian-trained doctors licensed to practice medicine in the United States.

“It was further revealed that 6,536 licenses were held by these 3,895 doctors, with the highest number of licenses issued by the states of Texas (11%), Georgia (7%) and New York (6% ).

“So the question is, would the chamber consider these Nigerians marketing their services abroad as exports and engage with them as organizations exporting goods and services? Shouldn’t chambers start working with them to see what kind of support they need? »

He maintained that it was not about facilitating market access for the United States, but rather about what the country could sell and ship to them as products or services from Nigeria, appreciating that the range of these products and services has expanded and is arriving from new sources within the economy.

He asserted that the job of the Chamber is to boost trade – our trade to the United States, so the United States already knows how to access the Nigerian market, similarly, we need to know how to access it for the nature of the products and services we provide.

“The United Kingdom and especially Canada have asked our young talents to emigrate to their country. Of course, they go after our best talents, and we all feel the pinch without exception.

“According to the United States Embassy in Nigeria, ‘Nigeria sends students to study in the United States more than any other country in Africa.’ According to US Open House data, as many as 12,860 Nigerian students are enrolled in over 1,000 educational institutions in the United States in 2020-21.

“Nigerians make up the largest cohort of students in an African country and the 10th largest in the world. In 2020, the population of Nigerian students in the United States was 13,762.

“It is time to trade these skills as an asset of the country. I am almost tempted to demand that countries that extract our human assets, to which so much value has been added to make them attractive that they end up being poached, be taxed,”

He added that income tax collected by foreign countries should be shared with Nigeria because of the investment Nigeria has made in building its human capital. He noted that even the Nigerians who were educated abroad, each was funded by Nigerian parents. “I know it would be a tough sell, but it’s such a loss for this country right now.

“Our culture, our fashion, our music, our art, our sporting skills and even our technical and academic skills, which generate enough revenue abroad for 23 billion dollars to be transferred, far exceed oil as wealth-creating resource.

There was an online advertisement titled “Remote Available Jobs in US Software” in which software developers are wanted in Nigeria, without visa requirements, as the jobs are available in Nigeria even though they are for the ‘America. Obviously, these jobs are dollar-denominated and globally competitive.

“This chamber must focus on how it can inspire Nigerians to sell in the United States, especially in areas where we demonstrate competitive advantage and global competence. It’s not about our government making money from it, it’s about our people trading their skills and abilities and getting paid handsomely for the overall value they deliver.

“Although we cannot manufacture competitively, there are SMEs that excel in their own field and individuals that do more where their talent plays.

“To go back to the drawing board is to ask for a total change of mentality in relation to what we have to trade with the USA. Trade depends on the competitiveness of goods and services offered to the partner country. In the case of Nigeria, we define our competitiveness in unexpected areas that are glaring but not obvious.

“The challenge therefore is for the Chamber of Commerce to seek out new and innovative ways to connect with this new world of commerce and to see how it can add value to the experience of those now actively operating in it, offering support through links. , advice, connectivity for access to the United States through constant communication with the Embassy »

He recommended that while the United States seeks ways to improve its own level of trade with Nigeria, through the support the Chamber provides to American businesses, this must continue to be reciprocated by the United States at a different form of Nigerian companies.

“It’s time to go back to the drawing board and embrace the new paradigm. Along with the old ways of supporting trade, a much newer context will be applied in seeking a much broader platform for engagement between the two countries.

“The United States has become a recognized trading partner of Nigeria and the data we have reflects this. Nigeria’s total exports to the United States between 2012 and 2021 were estimated at $62 billion. Of this figure, crude oil accounted for 83% (51.9 billion) Source: US Census Bureau).

“This means that apart from oil, Nigeria has only managed to export $10 billion worth of goods and products over a period of nearly 10 years to the United States. The main items are cocoa, nuts, precious metals, tea, fish, etc.

“If we flip the coin in terms of US exports to Nigeria, total US exports to Nigeria between the period were estimated at $37 billion. These consisted of passenger cars (new and used), trucks, buses and special purpose vehicles (21%), petroleum products (18%) and wheat (14%) in order of size between 2012 and 2021 (Source: United States Census Bureau).

“In the ranking of recipients of our exports from Nigeria to various countries, the United States occupies the 6th position, after India, Spain, France, the Netherlands and South Africa. While in terms of imports into Nigeria from other countries, the United States is third after China and India,” he added.


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