Amidst national revenue shortfall, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare state of Emergency in the Export Sector of Nigeria.
In his remarks at a webinar on the 2nd SME Conference organised by the National Chamber Policy Centre (NCPC) of ACCI, the President of the Chamber, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar also called for a state of emergency in the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), siting that there are many bottlenecks hindering the prospect of SMEs in country especially in terms of accessing export market adding that our goal is to among other things remove all bottlenecks in the export process.
Represented by the Executive Director NCPC, Mr Olawale Rasheed he saluted the efforts of regulatory agencies in the sector while stating that state that the state of emergency will speed the operation of domestic warehouses, fast track the opening of the special export terminal at various port across the country and stream lining of export procedures to reduce timeline and hindrance for exporters.
The Director-General, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Olawale FASANYA who was represented by the Deputy Director, Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the agency, Mr Onesi Lawani spoke on the need to support the development of the SME sector adding that the Nigeria’s non-oil export; with higher MSME presence is insignificant when compared with peers.
He said, Nigeria’s non-oil export earnings are insignificant when compared with other emerging economies adding that the total value of Nigeria’s non-oil exports in 2021 was $10.083bn.
The DG stated that the quick wins for MSME Exports is deliberate efforts of State governments to ease access to land, provision of Common Processing Facility (packaging, branding, etc) in Clusters, improvement in security, strengthening Export Processing Zones and awareness creation on export standards and potentials amongst others.
According to him, the export market is all about competitiveness which borders on price and quality while also stating that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is still a challenge, he urged the CBN and other development institutions to creatively support the MSMEs in access to financial resources.
“Adequate power, friendly ports operations and friendly regulations are very instrumental to increasing MSMEs exports in Nigeria.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Mr. Shehu Abdulkadir represented by his Senior Manager, Research, Statistics and Development, Usman Usman in his presentation titled, “The Role of Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) in Promoting SMEs as Agent of Export Trade stated that the wealth creation and export trade potentials of MSMEs in Nigeria is heavily constrained in comparison to more advanced economies.
He said this is relatively because of poor commitment to the development of the MSMEs through the provision of access to finance and financial incentives, basic and technological infrastructure, adequate legal and regulatory framework, and commitment to building domestic expertise and knowledge.
He added that MSMEs are a very important part of the Nigeria economy although compared to other emerging markets; Nigeria has historically shown lack of commitment to building a strong MSME sector.
The MD also said that there is no gain saying that developing and enhancing the capabilities of our export potentials remains critical to diversifying our economy adding that his Agency will not rest its oars in strengthening institutional synergy and building the capacities of local industries and MSMEs to produce and export their products to the international market. “This in our view will lead to the attainment of our goal to expand our Non – Oil Exports and address the myriad of challenges we face as a country.”
ACCI, Media/Strategy Officer