Lot of people want to learn the procedures and basic requirements to start export business in Nigeria on small and large scale and make millions of Naira, even from home without experience and with little capital.
Are you one of them?
Do you want to know the top Nigerian agricultural export products, foodstuffs, documents needed for export, ways to source for finance, how to get export contract, where to get most reliable partner, how to make over 1000% return on investment, how to get buyers (orders), and get paid easily?
If YES, then this article is only what you need to read today.
Nigeria is a blessed country with many raw materials and natural resources which help provide revenue.
There is an abundance of raw materials and a gross under-utilization of these raw materials in the country.
In Nigeria, many species of agricultural produce which cannot be easily obtained in other countries are found to be growing here because of the fertile lands.
These agricultural products are essential foods which people eat or convert into other products which are then sold to consumers for consumption.
Export business in Nigeria has grown considerably over the years because selling goods and services to other countries boosts the economy and grows its GDP.
There is no better time to start an export business in Nigeria than now.
Food and agricultural products exportation business is very profitable because the demand in Europe, America, United Kingdom (UK), Germany and Canada and other countries are fast rising because of the increasing population of Africans, especially over 25 million Nigerians who immigrate for work, marriage and for study purpose.
This is an excellent chance to sell to this category of people (Nigerians, Africans and Foreigners abroad) and get paid in foreign currency.
Remember, no amount of money is too small to start and scale your export business.
While the private sector largely run this industry, the government regulates all the industries and still maintains some state-owned products like crude oil to be exported only by the country, with the help of brokers to facilitate a lot of the transactions.
After reading this post to the end, you’ll learn and get answers to these questions:
- How do I export from Nigeria to other countries
- How do I start exporting from Nigeria
- How do I become a registered exporter in Nigeria
- What can be exported out of Nigeria
- What can I export from Nigeria to Dubai
- What documents do I need to export goods
- What is Nigeria’s most profitable export
- What can I export from Nigeria to China
- How do I start a mini export business
- How much is export license in Nigeria
- What are the legal requirements for exporting goods out of Nigeria
- How can I be an exporter
- How do I export a product
- Do I need an export License
- Can an individual export goods
- What can I export from Nigeria to Germany
- What can I export to USA from Nigeria
- What can I export from Nigeria to Canada
- What are the best products to export
- What does US buy from Nigeria
- What can I export from Nigeria to UK
- Which product is in demand for export
- How can I export food from Nigeria
- What does Nigeria export to France
- How do I export vegetables from Nigeria
- What does Nigeria import the most
- What products can be exported to Canada
- How can I start an export business with no money
- How do I find export buyers
- Which export business is best
- What can you import from Nigeria
- What can I export from Nigeria to Turkey
- What can I export from Nigeria to Kuwait
- How do I find foreign buyers
- Is export business profitable
- How do I get customers for my export business
- How to export from Nigeria to USA
- How to export foodstuff from Nigeria to USA
- How to export ogbono from Nigeria
- Cheapest shipping from Nigeria to USA
- Nigeria food stuff buyers in America
- How to get buyers for export from Nigeria
- How to export foodstuff from Nigeria to UK
- Sending foodstuffs to USA
- What can I export from Nigeria to USA
- Can I export Garri
- How can I ship food from Nigeria to USA
- How can I export food from Nigeria to other countries
Before we get into the core of this post, I’d like to tell you to grab some coffee or tea.
This is quite a long post and if you’re really interested in getting the best tips, right guidelines that will enable you to avoid making costly mistakes and make millions in your small-scale or large-scale export business this year, you’ll definitely read this article to the end.
What is Export Business?
Export business is the act of moving goods and service from one county to another for an exchange of payment.
This can be done by a supplier or the company that manufactures the products.
The most important thing is for the goods to be conveyed to the final destination.
Exportation business requires a high level of pro-activeness and the ability to keep up with the demands of the global market.
For you to be an exporter or involve in export business in Nigeria, you must source for goods and services here in Nigeria and transport it to other part of the world where they are needed (highly demanded) in exchange for payment in foreign currencies.
As long as you are under the regulation of the authorized council, you can export goods and services to other countries across the world.
Top export destinations include India, Spain, Netherlands, Ghana, France, South Africa, United States, Italy, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Canada, United Kingdom, Ivory Coast, and Germany.
Benefits of Starting Export Business in Nigeria
Here are reasons you should go into export business in Nigeria today.
- You can start with a little amount. Yes, with ₦50,000 you can start exportation business.
- It is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria today because you’ll earn in foreign currencies.
- With the present economic condition in Nigeria today, the exchange rate is at its peak. Therefore, if you earn in foreign currency, then you will become very rich.
- Government policies are favorable. The export sector is one area in Nigeria that enjoys maximum support from government.
- The business is very interesting and profitable especially now that Federal Government is increasing foreign income generation through agriculture and business.
Challenges of Export Business in Nigeria
Though the export business in Nigeria is highly lucrative, it has its own fair share of troubles.
Here are some challenges of starting an export business in Nigeria.
- Not fully knowing the rules and regulations binding the business in Nigeria and the legal requirements for starting and running the business has landed many exporters in serious legal troubles.
- You need a license to be a direct exporter.
- It can be capital intensive (for large scale).
- Sometimes, there’ are a lot of mistrust issues between the importer and the exporter.
- Fraudulent activities of few Nigerians have earned us bad name internationally. Therefore, it’s usually difficult to secure export contract.
- Some foreigners find it difficult doing business with us because they are afraid of being duped.
- The government already prohibited most products you may want to export.
- Customs and taxes.
- Exporters or intending exporters face lack of adequate mentoring in Nigeria.
- Getting an export license and documentation isn’t that easy.
- Government policies always interrupt long-term contracts.
- High and unstable product pricing.
- Your administration and logistics costs may rise as you may have to deal with export regulations.
- Natural factors like drought, pests, and diseases affects agricultural products because of poor storage facilities and poor farm practices.
- Poor product modification to meet international standards.
- Unless you’re careful, you can lose focus on your home markets and existing customers.
- You will manage more remote relationships, sometimes thousands of miles away.
- Problems with financing and loans.
- Sourcing from reliable suppliers.
- Volatile exchange rates.
Top 107 Items You Can Export from Nigeria to Abroad and Earn in Dollars [Foreign Currencies]
Exports from Nigeria to other countries of the world like United Kingdom (UK), United States of America, China, Japan, India etc. is very lucrative and can build the country’s economy overnight.
Nigeria being an import dependent country is one factor affecting the economy.
It is not only oil-related products that can be exported from Nigeria.
There are countless of made in Nigeria goods that could yield enough foreign exchange to the country.
Most of this non-oil-related products i.e., agricultural produce can be found in quantity in places like Benue State, Jigawa State in Nigeria.
Here are the top products you can export from Nigeria to other countries and earn in dollars:
- Animal Feed
- Baby Food
- Ball Pens
- Bitter Cola
- Bolts and Nuts
- Bread Fruit (Ukwa)
- Cashew Nuts
- Cashew Oil
- Cassava Flour
- Chili Pepper
- Coco Yam
- Cocoa Butter
- Coconut Juice
- Columbite Wolframite and Tantalite
- Crude oil
- Foam Products
- Fresh Fruits
- Fruit Juice
- Fufu (Akpu)
- Gum Arabic
- Hides and Skin
- Iron Ore
- Jewelry. e.g., Beads
- Liquefied Natural Gas
- Medicinal Herbs
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Palm Oil
- Pigs and/or Pork
- Plant Seeds
- Potato Powder
- Poultry (Domestic Birds, Egg or Meat)
- Sesame Seed
- Shea Butter
- Soya Beans
- Sugar Cane
- Textiles and Garments
- Tiger nuts
- Tyres and Tubes
- Zobo Leaf
Note: This list isn’t constant. The Federal Government can ban any of these products.
Nigeria Export Business Opportunities
Here are the best ways to make money from export business in Nigeria.
1. Direct Goods Export
Here a company who manufactures locally could source international clients for their business and export their products to them.
This model is usually capital intensive, as you have to either produce the products yourself, which will cost money, or you may have to outrightly buy out from the producers to export with your own margins.
2. Export Management
An export management company is an independent private organization that facilitates the distribution of various non-competing suppliers and manufacturers goods to overseas markets.
To prevent conflicts of interest, an export management company will not work with firms that compete with its existing clients.
The supplier would usually have a fixed amount they pay the Export Management Company monthly, and also a commission they’d earn on every successful sale.
An ETC can be local or within a foreign country where they are importing goods.
Some companies have internal export teams that handle the promotion of the firm’s products in overseas markets and arrange for goods to be shipped abroad.
Many small firms lack the resources to fund an internal export team while some large corporations reduce operating costs by outsourcing such functions to an independent export management company.
Common roles of an export management company include:
- Handling the legal requirements involved throughout the exporting process for various goods.
- Helping suppliers and manufacturers in finding international buyers, expanding market presence across the globe.
- Help reduce training and recruitment costs, along with strategizing different ways to minimize exchange rate risk.
- Provision of warehousing, shipping, insuring, and billing on behalf of the client.
3. Export Brokers
An export broker is an individual or firm that brings together buyers and sellers for a fee but does not take part in actual sales transactions.
Here you act as a broker for either the importer or the exporter or both.
You can export different products across various industries and still generate far more profit margins than the people you’re brokering on their behalf.
If, for instance, white Sesame seeds from Nigeria costs $1,300 per ton, you could strike up a deal with a supplier to accept $1250 per ton or better still, you could source a buyer that would purchase from you for about $1,350 per ton.
Steps to Starting Export Business in Nigeria
Here are the steps to start a profitable export business in Nigeria:
1. Fully Understand Export Trade
To start and successfully scale an export business in Nigeria, you must have in-depth knowledge of how it works.
Before starting, you must know the answers to these questions:
- How does the business works?
- What are the best high-demand products to export?
- Where do I source for exportable products?
- How do I get a contract?
- Who are some of the top exporters?
- How do they operate and serve their clients?
- What are the laws and licensing regulating the export business in Nigeria?
The best ways you can get a better understanding of export business in Nigeria and succeed without making costly mistakes is by undergoing mentorship under a proven exporter or company and by reading from detailed guides online on how to export from Nigeria.
2. Have a Business Plan
To make your business work, sit down and draft out a realistic plan.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them.
Your business plan will state:
- The name of your business venture
- The goods you will export
- The suppliers of these goods
- The country you are exporting to
- Business potentialities
- The risks involved in the exportation business
3. Carry out Market Research
Market research involves finding out countries that buys more of the product you intend exporting, knowing the specifications and quality they buying countries need and knowing where to source the product locally.
This means you must search and identify where the product is produced in regular, large and exportable quantity and quality.
Most agricultural export products in Nigeria are found in the Northern part of Nigeria, except cashew and other mineral resources that are only found in the Western and Eastern part of Nigeria.
Charcoal is mostly exported and shipped to Europe because they buy more.
Cashew is mostly exported and shipped to Vietnam and India because the buy more quantities than any other country.
Also, exporting of cocoa and Shea butter are different in terms of packaging, laboratory testing and storage.
4. Business Registration
Register your Business Name or Private Limited Company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria.
After which you secure an export license from Export Promotion Council.
This is done to legalize your business and avoid any legal issues that might come up.
Doing this will also make you appear more reputable to both buyers and sellers alike.
5. Source for Export Commodities
After registering your business, the next thing to do is to decide and begin gathering the products to be exported.
There are a lot of agricultural produce that can be exported. It is more reasonable to make this decision before starting up.
Search for the local farmers, producers or suppliers of high-quality goods you intend to export, establish links and sign deals with them.
If you can meet the demand rate of your customers, you can also produce and supply the products by yourself.
You can export processed and packaged foods and raw food items.
Get these products well packaged to the taste of the countries of destination.
If you do not know what to export, check online to discover raw materials and commodities that are in high demand by other countries which Nigeria has in abundance.
Research unique products to reduce tremendous competition and also create market space for your business.
However, note that before exporting, ensure you research on list of commodities prohibited by the government of Nigeria for exportation.
Packaging is very important so don’t take it lightly, westerners take it more seriously than we do.
Remember that it is a business and several people are going into it resulting in greater competition, that’s why you don’t have to leave room for lapses, if not your client will look for a better alternative.
Don’t package your product from home, an officer must be there to find out that you are exporting non-prohibited items.
Be sure to use lighter materials that would not add more weight to the goods, nylon is preferable.
Use transparent white nylon to put the goods depending on what you are sending.
Use foil paper to wrap round it then put it in another in an envelope.
7. Set Right Prices for Your Products
You really have to learn how to fix the right prices for your products and services if you don’t want to make a loss from your business.
To put the right price on your product, you must calculate all expenses, do a market research and analysis on how much the product is being sold, how much consumers and retailers will pay and the rate of demand of the product.
These details will help you price your product correctly.
8. Locate Genuine Foreign Buyers of Your Export Commodities
Sourcing for buyers can be tasking especially if you are new in the business.
Most food items exported from Nigeria are consumed by Nigerians based abroad.
Locate these Nigerians or create a means through which these commodities can reach them.
Here are some tips on how to get genuine buyers:
- Join your local seller association and cooperative society for the goods you want to export.
- Join online trade hubs companies that have the directories of both buyers and sellers. Though, it will cost you subscription fee. It may be yearly or monthly.
- You can contact the embassies of the countries you are exporting to, in your country of residence to confirm the legitimacy of the buyer’s details.
- Search on the internet for companies that use that product as raw material. Send mail and put the call through for better communication.
- Join B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customers) forums and portals to connect with buyers.
- Join some social networks like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn pages to connect with buyers.
- You can advertise on some trade portal websites for availability of the products and services for sales.
- When you have one buyer, encourage that one to put word across to other Nigerians, Africans and Foreigners around.
- Check on the internet goods that are in high demand and locate the location of those in need of such commodities. Establish contact with the clients in the destination countries.
9. Arrange for Export Logistics
As an exporter, you need to have some knowledge of export logistics.
If you are too occupied to do this yourself, contact a reliable company to do this (there are freight forwarders that handle all these protocols).
Your products are expected to be packaged and labeled correctly to prevent damage and misplacement on transit. Document them and insure against losses.
Inspection of the product by authorized body such as FIIRO, Nigerian custom and NDLEA is also vital.
Know and have the basic documents required for exporting goods which are: Certificate of Origin, Insurance certificate, Shipping bill, Certificate of Inspection, Export License, Commercial Receipt, Packing list.
Before you have the goods shipped out, confirm with your contact where the commodities should be shipped to.
Be sure to be on alert to discover other commodities that are in hot demand that was not initially in your plan.
If for any reason you do not document your export process with required government agencies, then it can be termed smuggling and you’ll be punished if caught along the line.
Exportation Business Key Tips
These are tips to follow in your exportation business.
- Open a website for customers to reach you.
- Get a Business Bank Account. It could be current or savings but domiciliary account is preferable. You can give out your Nigeria bank account but there must be some level of trust before a buyer will pay into such an account. Sometimes it also depends on the size of the expected exportable products and they money involved.
- Own an email address. This will make your business to be very transparent and open. People are always afraid not to deal with scammers. With this, you will be taken serious and very genuine.
- Always get buyers down before starting. This is very important because there must be an agreement before commencing any transaction. Choose the country of your interest, contact a dealer or buyer and open up conversation. State the quality of your product and the quantity. Agree on mode of payment and let him/her know the number of waiting days before receiving the parcel.
Top 10 Legal Requirements for an Export Business in Nigeria
Here are the legal requirements needed to kick-start your exportation business in Nigeria.
- A unique Business Name (Registration with Corporate Affairs Commissions).
- A minimum of two directors and two shareholders if you are starting your export business as a company (limited or unlimited) rather than a sole proprietorship or involved with a business partner (partnership), then you must have a minimum of two directors and two shareholders (maximum of 50) at every time.
- A registered office (address) if you’re starting big. A home address would suffice if you are starting small.
- Registration with Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEXP).
- Registration of Form NXP.
- Get special licenses and permits from target foreign country for the goods you’re dealing in.
- Verify your products are not on the prohibited goods list.
- Certificate of incorporation (for companies registered as corporations).
- Tax certificates.
- Insurance covers.
Ways to Source for Capital for Export Business in Nigeria
Here are the best ways to source for funding for exportation in Nigeria.
- The first way to source for capital is to look for investors. If you’ve good understanding of export business in Nigeria, with a good business plan, then investors will invest.
- Another place to get finance is going for loan. If you’ve good understanding of export business in Nigeria, then you can go for loan to start. There are private loan givers you can get money from as long as you meet their requirements.
Ways to Get Export Business Contract in Nigeria
To source for a genuine export contract in Nigeria:
- Join NACCIMA. NACCIMA stands for Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.
- Sign up with B2B websites (platforms where buyers and sellers from around the world meet) e.g., alibaba.com and globalbuyersonline.com.
- Tell your friends or family members living in Europe, Asia and other part of the world to visit companies over there and tell them what you can supply from Nigeria.
Ways to find International Buyers for Your Export Business
Finding international buyers and exporting your goods and services to a foreign country is never easy.
Here are the best ways to get interested overseas customers for your export commodities:
- Start with a good and in-depth online research.
- Invest in your brand awareness.
- Make the customers you already have a number one priority.
- Get familiar with the local market’s needs.
- Start following embassies fairs and economic changes in the local market.
- Register with Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
- Find local buyers who represent foreign companies.
- Become active on LinkedIn which is the foremost global business hub that connects entrepreneurs from all over the world.
- Fill orders from local buyers who export to foreign organizations.
- Register on international trade platforms like Alibaba.
- Have an international SEO-Ready website.
- Hire overseas agents on a commission basis. Overseas sales agents will interface directly with the buyers and will always let you know their position on any potential purchase.
- Contact The Country’s Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers of Commerce in several countries can help you not just get sales agents, but can also help you find valuable contacts.
- Take part in trade fairs to introduce your products to international buyers.
- Get import lists from foreign embassies.
- Do internet marketing. This involves the use of SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, Pay-Per-Click advertising, and a lot more to boost the visibility of your business to prospective international buyers.
Ways to Get Paid as an Exporter in Nigeria
Here are the best ways to receive payment as an exporter in Nigeria:
This is a safe way to get paid through your banks as long as you documented your business.
Buyers will have to send you money first before you ship.
Sometimes, a client will not want to pay until the goods enter their hands and are confirmed to be in order.
If you’re starting as a beginner, you’ll hardly enjoy cash in advance. It’s only possible for exporters with long trading history.
2. Letter of Credit (LC)
This is one of the best forms of payment for export business in Nigeria.
A Letter of Credit is a contractual commitment by the foreign buyer’s bank to pay once the exporter ships the goods and presents the required documentation to the exporter’s bank as proof.
As a trade finance tool, Letters of Credit are designed to protect both exporters and importers.
The credit letter stands as an obligation for the bank to guarantee the buyers’ payment.
Here, the buyer’s banker will tell your bank that the buyer has the said amount of money in his account to pay you as soon as you deliver his products.
Sometimes, the buyer will mandate his bank to release some percentage of the money to your bank once you scan your bill of lading to him.
A bill of lading (BL or BOL) is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper that details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.
A bill of lading also serves as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods at a predetermined destination.
This document must accompany the shipped products, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper, and receiver.
Ensure you agree on a particular mode of payment before sending out your goods.
Companies to Use for Export in Nigeria
As an exporter in Nigeria, use the services of these logistics companies:
Find out what goods and products each of the courier companies accepts.
NIPOST is the cheapest and provide 2 kinds of services – The conventional is very much cheaper when and your goods will take 2 weeks to deliver. EMS is their express delivery; goods take 3-4 days to deliver.
Also, learn how to calculate shipping charges so you won’t be sharing part of your gains.
Steps to Get Buyers for Export from Alibaba
- Open alibaba.com site.
- Look for the search bar.
- Type importer/the country of your choice/the product you want to export. Example; Importer/China/Ogbono.
- Press Enter. The list of people that import ogbono will pop out.
- Check to see a genuine buyer, this you will know from other people’s feedback.
How to Make Over 1000% Return on Investment in Export Business in Nigeria
There is one important thing you must do to maximize profit whether you are considering going into small scale export business in Nigeria or large-scale export business in Nigeria. That is by adding value to whatever you’re exporting.
For instance, the demand for well processed cassava flour is increasing both in Europe, Middle East and in America.
Those who export cassava won’t make money like those who export cashew flour.
Therefore, learn how to process and add value to your products. This basically applies to agricultural export products in Nigeria.
If you’re a beginner, you can start exporting unprocessed products, but have in mind of expanding into exporting processed product later.
What is Nigeria’s Most Profitable Export?
Nigeria’s biggest export is crude oil, a commodity that represents 76% of its total exported goods by value.
How much does it cost to start an Export Business?
Depending on your strategy and operation, the cost of setting up an export business in Nigeria is from ₦50,000 (minimum capital) and above.
Which Products are in demand for export?
Top exported products of Nigeria to start export business are:
- Mineral fuels
- Agricultural produce
- Gems, precious metals
- Machinery, computers
Do I need a license to export?
Yes, before starting the export business, you need a license from the authorities and regulatory bodies.