Nigeria seeks to dominate ECOWAS market for non-oil products

Made in Nigeria goods to be given more visibility.

Bala Ali

To redirect its trade and diversify non-oil exports to foreign countries, Nigeria is aiming to recapture the ECOWAS markets and penetrate the Francophone economies through the export of made in Nigeria goods.

Disclosing this in Kano today, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, David Adulugba, represented by the Director of Products Development of the Council, Olajide Ibrahim, stated that a solo-exhibition of Nigerian manufactured products in Lome, Togo is to held from July 27 to August 10.

Mr. Adulugba said in the past, Nigeria stamped its presence in many West African States but has not been able to effectively penetrate the Francophone parts who mostly import from France despite the liberalization of trade within the sub-region.

According to him, the council has made plans targeted at giving made-in Nigeria products a better visibility and acceptance at the international market place. He added that the solo-exhibition organized to take place in Lome is an important window towards making non-oil products a significant contributor to the Nigerian GDP.

Statistics from Nigerian export destination profile reveals that ECOWAS market attributes for only 11 per cent of exports to other continents despite the ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme, he says. This is in addition to the principle of free trade and movement of persons among the member states within the region, according to the CEO of the Council.

He explained the decision to hold the solo exhibition in Lome, Togo is because of its strategic location in the sub region and to the Francophone African countries within.

The event, he said, would assist both countries in curbing the large spate of informal trade existing between their peoples as well as provide a unique opportunity to boost the economies of the two countries and expand frontiers for businessmen from each of the two nations. He stated that it will also create awareness for made-in-Nigeria products and another platform for strengthening diplomatic ties.

He explained that in 2012, Nigeria’s non-oil export to the region stood at $312,478 million (N50 trillion) with Ghanaian import taking the lion share of $143,017 million (N22 trillion), representing about 46 per cent of the total exports within the region.

He added that total import of the West Africa sub region excluding from Nigeria stood at $14 billion in 2010 according to ITC COMTRADE statistics, while Nigeria’s export to Togo is about $40 million making it the third largest importer of Nigeria’s non-oil products.

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