Exposed: How to Start an Export Business in Nigeria.

Export business in nigeria

Nigeria is richly blessed by God with enormous amount of Natural and mineral resources. These resources extend all over the country. There is no region of the country that is not blessed with viable resources where investors will key in to process them into raw materials or semi-finished goods for exports or local consumption. There is also opportunity to engage in production and export of agricultural or farm product with aim of supplying the needs of the people and for export into other countries. This article is aimed at providing information to prospective exporters on how to start and become successful in exporting business.

Export training is crucial 

Engaging in export is very complicated and not easy to dab into without basic prior knowledge of the rudiments of the business. You need to be taught how the business operate, the rationale and procedures of documentation,how to get an export license, port dealings, guidelines, product sourcing and so on.  Of late, there have arisen a lot of companies, organizations and agencies that organize seminars and workshops on export business, particularly in Lagos state.

Identify the product you want to trade on

You would be required to identify product(s) you that would be more convenient for you to export. Concentrate more on products that are easily accessible and which you could easily lay your hands on when demanded. Things like cassava, bitter kola,cocoa, yam tubers, snails, Ginger, Arabic gum, Charcoal, Sesame Seed, Dried Hibiscus (Zobo), Hardwood Charcoal, Raw Cashew Nuts, PKS, Crude Palm oil, Gum Arabic, Shea Butter, Coconut, Solid Minerals like Lead Ore, Zinc Ore, Mica and other natural resources and so on are good materials for export. also you can start:
 food stuff exporting, spicy exporting, charcoal exporting etc.

A good number of manufacturing companies in Countries like the USA, Germany, UK, China, France, Japan and India have begun to look towards Nigeria to source for cheap export industrial raw materials to enable them to manufacture finished goods. There are by and large two ways to source a product; either you are buying from people to export or you are producing it yourself and then export to Canada, export to china, export India etc.

Business registration is essential

It is essential that you make your business legal by registering it with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Foreign buyers are very cautious of dealing with Nigerians so as not to be defrauded. Therefore, registering your business will assist to create a good image of yourself. Show your prospective buyers your certificate of incorporation and any additional proof that you are a legal and responsible business.

Search for prospective foreign Importers: 

Dealing with exporting business has been made much simpler with the advent of the internet. You can arrange and finish a business deal from your house through the internet without having to meet the client on to one. Despite the advantage of using the internet to trade, you must also be aware of the possible internet fraud. So be cautious to avoid regret. Your job as an exporter is to locate and get connected with foreign buyers and deal directly with them or get them linked up to reliable suppliers of exportable commodities in Nigeria who will do the shipment.

If the business deal is accomplished successfully together with shipment you would be paid a specified fee as a commission. If for instance you got a foreign export contract of supplying about 50 metric tons of cocoa or cassava and the percentage commission accruable is $30/metric ton. You would be getting the sum of $1500 for merely that one deal only without having to be physically involved in collecting and transportation of those goods.

Advertise your products to prospective buyers

Your main thought as a potential exporter ought to be trade fairs and missions. As you move on in export business, you’ll be required to attend a good number of them present your products and services for promotion.

Make contact with organizations like the Bank of Industry (BoI) or Nigerian Export Import bank (NEXIM) for advice on the association between country risks and the likelihood of accessing credit facilities.

You could make profit of roughly N150, 000- 200,000 per container which means when you export roughly 5 containers you’d be making profit of N1, 000,000 in a space of about 6 weeks. Many have achieved this; you too could do the same with proper planning and determination.

The good thing about the business is that you can start small and progress gradually. Even without fund you could begin by sourcing for clients and acting as middle man between established exporters and from there you would move forward.

Therefore you have different opportunities of engaging in exporting business. You can either enter the business as a: 

Manufacturing Exporter

Manufacturing Exporter is a company which in addition to the production of specific products as well exports the manufactured product. This company may sell the same product for local consumption but they as well to the outside world for profit. A few examples of such companies are Unilever, 7UP Bottling Company, PZ and so on.


Export Merchant

Export Merchant is an exporter who purchases goods or products from manufacturers and producers in the country and exports them to various parts of the world. He is responsible for sourcing for products that meets with the buyer’s expectation. This faction of export dealers make sizeable profit and have the ability to increase his volume of transaction for juicier reward. 

Export Agent

Export Agent is a man who has a good understanding of how export business works, is aware of how to source for foreign clients to buy from and how to get local sellers or suppliers. He is being paid commission by providing a linkage between foreign buyers, exporters and local suppliers of the product. An export agent requires more of common sense than resources to be successful in the business. 

Which of them you take up largely depends on a few factors like product availability, product sourcing skills and so on. The market have enormous space to accommodate anybody who wishes to do export in this country, you can start from export agent and move to export merchant as you grow. If you so wish, you could as well move to become a manufacturing exporter. 


This is a quest post written by Blessing C. Mills, a full time freelance writer and blogger. She writes educational articles that inspires and help businesses and offers flourishing business tips including forex trading tips to those who want to make  Forexinvestments.
You can follow follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Ikoi Abode Ikenna is a prospective Pharmacist but born an entrepreneur with the heart and passion for entrepreneurship and business. He has strong believe in Financial independence, since wealth is a choice like wise poverty, he has decided to make the best of every opportunity and here he preaches the same.