Stakeholders Identify Opportunities; Discuss Strategies for Non-Oil Exporters in Crisis Situations


Practicing exporters, economists, trade consultants and other stakeholders have identified crisis situations such as the COVID-19 global pandemic, natural disasters, health emergencies, economic crises and wars such as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as a huge opportunity to diversify the country's economy and increase her share of global trade, especially in non-oil products and services. 

Stakeholders Identify Opportunities; Discuss Strategies for Non-Oil Exporters in Crisis Situations
Dr. Bamidele Ayemibo, CEO of 3T Impex Consulting

 The experts and stakeholders brainstormed the topic: “Opportunities and Strategies for Exporters in Crisis Situations: Exploring the Russia-Ukraine War" on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at the April edition of the monthly webinar series Talking Trade with Femi Boyede.

At the event, the Lead speaker, Dr. Bamidele Ayemibo, CEO of 3T Impex Consulting presented the opportunities that are hidden in the ongoing war, while stressing that these can only be harnessed if the country embarks on adequate preparation. In his words, "COVID evolved our world and it was a big challenge for the world. Of course, it disrupted trade so badly. In April 2020, oil prices went below $0 as reported by BBC because no country was buying. It is surprising to note that with the sharp decline experienced by  many countries like Nigeria as a result of COVID-19, countries like China and India made more money in trading due to their being rightly positioned and appropriately prepared to take advantage of the situation."

Dr. Ayemibo explained further that “Although Ukraine appears small in size, their contribution to the world in food products such as wheat, corn, colza seed, sunflower oil, etc., is enormous. Countries such as Turkey, China, Egypt, Netherlands, etc., are dependent on Ukraine and Russia for agricultural food commodities. This presents a veritable opportunity for exporters from other African countries such as Nigeria to increase the production and export of non-oil products. This is the window to economic growth and diversification that can put Africa on the global chain.”

The Lead Speaker also expounded that, “even though many countries like Nigeria had a sharp decline in trade during the COVID, countries like China benefited from the situation as they had increased growth in trade. India has about 24 million tonnes reserve of wheat and it is considering meeting the shortage in supply and taking over as the major supplier in that market. As a matter of fact, India recently celebrated $400b of trade growth within a year  and they were only able to achieve this because these countries were ready and well-positioned.” According to Mr. Ayemibo, this is a pointer for African countries and non-oil exporters to aggressively take advantage of export business opportunities from around the world, especially during crises and emergency situations. 

To facilitate the transformation of such emergent opportunities to business profit for national economic benefit.,  Dr. Ayemibo stressed the need for investment in infrastructure. “If we want to create employment, boost our foreign reserves and increase the value of the Naira; we must be prepared to aggressively take advantage of export business opportunities from around the world!”

The webinar also welcomed a special guest appearance by Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the ED/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), who seized the opportunity to address some concerns raised by Nigerian exporters. These included the Export Development Fund (EDF) and the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, inter-ministerial cooperation, and public-private partnership to meet international standards.   

The CEO reassured exporters of the readiness of the NEPC to devote deserved attention to feedback regularly obtained from the sector: “I was appointed for exporters and it is only right and fair that I listen to you, address and tackle issues and challenges militating against Non-oil export. In NEPC, it's a new phase and so we don’t take the issue of exporters lightly.”

The NEPC boss will be the Guest speaker during the May edition of the Talking Trade webinar series which is scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 8, 2022.

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