How To Start Exportation Business In Nigeria

export business in nigeria

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One of the major factors that strengthens the economy of any Nation is it’s ability to export it own local produce or services to other nations.

The Nigeria economy remains in it distorted state today because of it’s inability to facilitate effective export of it resources to other demanding nations of the world and it over reliance on the black gold called Crude Oil.

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Currencies and economy of other developed nations have grown stronger over times because of their strong export abilities.

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Great Britain has become a very strong economy than any European nation because of it’s Football League, the same goes for Dubai whose major strength is in it Tourism.

Nigeria is one of the greatest and richest nations on earth but yet remains poor due to it inability to explore it’s rich natural resources.

how to export foodstuff from nigeria to usa

One of the most strong and viable industries that has not been fully tapped and modernized in Nigeria is Agriculture. Over 1 Million Tonnes of agro-produce are wasted annually due to low patronage and Poor storage facilities.

It has however been forecasted by economist that by 2050, the world will look over to Africa for food. So many foreigner have tapped into these and landed the shores of Africa to exploit agriculture on our behalf.

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The possibilities for exportation is vast, and in a country like Nigeria that’s rich in mineral resources and agricultural products as mentioned in another article, venturing into the import/export business is a great bet for any entrepreneur in any country around the world to take up.

The import/export business is the key driver of growth or recession in any country. Depending on if there are more imports or exports than the other, the effects it has on every economy, including Nigeria’s, is always exceptional.

nigeria export promotion council

But before going into details analysis and practical guides let us explore the vast reasons why you should begin exporting rather than importing as a Nigerian.

What is Export Trade ?

An export in international trade is a good or service produced in one country that is bought by someone in another country. The seller of such goods and services is an exporter; the foreign buyer is an importer.

Reasons Why you Should Export.

Just as there is a variety of benefits of importing products and services, there are numerous reasons for exporting, too. Here are the two key benefits of exporting products to other countries:

1. Boost Your sales potential.

There is this popular saying that

A man is not valued in his home town.

The same applies to business, there are many people outside the shores of your country who need various economically vast product that can only be found in your country.

food export business

Identifying a handful of this important products and their target can make you big.

For example Shea Butter is widely cultivated here in Nigeria and sole at a very poor price, meanwhile shea butter can only be found in West Africa.

There are so many International cosmetic firm willing to pay a fortune to get shea butter.

The same applies to various products.

2. Increasing Profits.

Do you know that the price for the product sold in you local country is sold differently abroad.

come to think of it you buy 1tonne of  kola nuts here In Nigeria for less than 75k, imagine how much the export price of that same kola nut would be if actually it is been exported.

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3. Increase Nations foreign exchange and GDP.

Wealthy nations of the world are rated vastly by the how vast they are in production and not consumption.

China has become number one today in the whole world because of it capacity to produce variably everything.

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So you are doing your country a greater good by choosing to export rather than consume.

4. Exporters are better connected.

Face the reality when you solve the problem of someone not in your nations borders there are chances that they would refer you and continue to refer you so therefore you build bigger and better connections.

Exporting pushes you to create global networks of distributors, partners, suppliers, customers, service providers, industry associations and government contacts.

You also become market experts and between that and your networks, you’re ready to grab on to new opportunities.

Imagine selling charcoal to the Scandinavia during winter, even if you get a single buyer at first and he trusts and enjoyed your service.

Trust that he is going to tell more people about you and then you become more connected.


5. Exporters stay In business way Longer.

As an exporter you are never out of option because you customers from all over the world will keep looking for you .

You might be lucky you can be in business with a large scale production company overseas that needs raw materials in large quantities.

Be rest assured that as long as such a business is still existing you would never go away too.

6. Exporters grow faster.

Talking about growth, exporters grow very fast than non-exporters.

Are you looking for a profitable business to embark on as a Nigerian ?, starting your own export company would not be a bad idea at all.
This post would guide you step by step to fully kick-starting your own export company.


Starting export business In Nigeria

Now you have made up your mind to begin an export business.

Here is how you can get started.

starting export business nigeria

1. Register Your Business.

This involves penning down your  business with the Government of Nigeria, you can register your business now by visiting the official website of the Nigerian Business Corporation CAC.GOV.NG. 

2. Register With The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)

You need to obtain licences to be able to successfully carry out any form of export activities. Dont be afraid, export can obtained for as low as 20k here in Nigeria.

3. Verify Your Products Are Not On The Prohibited Goods List.

Not all products are permitted to be exported out of Nigeria, some of them are Beans, Animal skins , live birds, bagged cement, medicals, fruit juice, Noodles, second hand clothing’s ,Weapons and Ammunition. click here to read more  

4. Subscribe to Insurance.

Insurance simply covers up for unexpected mess, most Nigerian business don’t value insurance, but having insurance can do your business a whole lot of good.

5. Partner With A Freight Forwarding Service Company To Ship Your Goods.

You will need a reliable and shipping and freight company to complete your transfer, there are thousand of shipping companies at the shores of every Nation, kindly take your time to study and choose the best for your business needs.


Exportable products In Nigeria.

Non-oil export in Nigeria stands at a higher position of making average Nigerians very rich and as well changing the economy for better.

Do you intend launching into the Export business here in Nigeria ?

Here are very few products to begin exporting.

1. Cashew

Cashew nuts stands as one of the most profitable non-oil export product in Nigeria,According to the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN, Nigeria earned over 500 Million dollars in revenue from the export of raw cashew nuts to other countries.

2. Ginger.

Nigeria is one of the countries to recon with when it comes to the exportation of ginger. Large amounts of Ginger is produced in Nigeria annually and most of them are wasted, you can start exporting ginger today and make huge profits from it.

3. Garlic

Not only is Garlic the second most widely used Alluviums crop after onions, but also come as a good medicinal supplement for reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In addition, it is good to help prevent some brain diseases.

The global garlic market revenue amounted to over $35 million.

4. Plantain.

Nigeria is the highest producer of plantain in Africa; at the same time, Nigeria is the seventh largest producers of plantain in the world.

5. Cocoa.

cocoa is a well sought after product, it is used and highly sought after in the beverage industry.

In fact, this is a product that has put Nigeria on the world map as the forth largest exporting nation of cocoa in the world.

Too bad Nigeria stopped exploring cocoa after it discovered oil in the lates 60’s.
You can tap into it wonderful opportunities today.

6. Kola Nuts.

Kola nut is the seed of the cola tree, which contain caffeine and other supplement that increase energy and at the same time, improve health; it is indigenous to west Africa, can be chewed or made into a drink.

At the present time, Nigeria is ranked first in terms of top Kola nut producing countries According to the international market, the average Kola Nut production price (in real time) stood at $3770.50 per Tonne

7. Bitter kola.

Bitter Kola exportation is profitable. According to statistics, Nigeria is one of the highest producers of bitter Kola in the world.

Bitter Kola have a lot of health benefit some of which include the treatment of bacterial infections such as tuberculosis and diarrhea.

Presently, you can sell 1kg of Bitter Kola at the international market for $17.00. The profit margin is high, even after overall deduction of shipping cost and expenses.

Bitter Kola is of high demand in countries like Great Britain, America, China, India and other Asian countries.

8. Crayfish

China, a populous nation in Asia contributed largely to the rising in demand of Crayfish.

The market for Crayfish worth billions of dollars, At the present time, crayfish exportation business is worth over $2 billion USD.

9. Rice.

Rice has become a major business in Nigeria as a result of the recent border closure, You can start by tapping into rice export by engaging in the cultivation of local rices like Ofada.

Nigerians in the diaspora would love to patronize you.

You can start a rice farm for as low as N10M naira.

10. Melon Seeds.

Melon Seeds popularly known as Egusi is popular among various tribes in Nigeria. It has many uses; in addition, it has lots of nutritional values such as low calories, magnesium and protein. For this reason, melon seeds are high demand all over the world.

Nigeria is still ranked as one of the global leading country for melon exportation in the world. As a matter fact, melons remain top Export Products in the country.

11. Yam.

Nigeria has been named the largest exporter of Yam in the world which means that it has a major market and a very profitable business.

Yam, name given to an edible tubers that belong to the family of Dioscorea genus.

When it comes to export of agricultural products for profit, Yam tuber exportation should be on top of your list.


12. Beans.

Beans such as Soya Beans and Kidney beans have been discovered to have a major hit in the foreign market.

13. Sesame Seeds.

Presently, Nigeria currently produces over 300,000 tonnes of Sesame Seed per year.

And with the current ₦300,000/tonne in the global market, the country is raking in substantial revenue for the exportation of Sesame seed.

Nigeria is ranked third on the list of major producer of sesame seeds across the globe. Only India and China produces more.

14. Locust Beans.

15. Shea butter.

Shea tree is know to grow majorly in Nigeria and very few parts of Africa.

It has been majorly used in the area of cosmetics and hair products.

Shea butter is one of the most highly sought after product in the world. Shea butter can be bought in places Like Ogun State, Kogi, Ondo, Benue.

16. Ground Nuts.

Nigeria currently produces about two million Metric Tonnes representing five percent (5%) of world production and in the period between 1956 and 1967.

Groundnuts including its cake and oil, accounted for about seventy percent (70%) of Nigeria’s total export earnings and created the legendary groundnut pyramids.

So therefore starting a groundnut export is a very profitable Business to embark on

17. Snails.

Snail is a healthy recommended food with very low stress attached to it.

Snails can be breaded at very little or no cost with, they are very economical and don’t need more to produce unlike their poultry counterparts.

So many health patients both home and abroad seek snails and this can be a major opportunity for you as  a business.


18. Crabs.

Crabs can be found along the sea shores and can be used for various delicacies.

Crabs are stress free and can become a major business for an investor.

19. Soya Bean

20. Palm Kernel

21. Textile

22. Rubber

23. Honey

24. Cassava

25. Honey.


26. Cotton

27. Poultry Products

28. Pepper

29. Bitter Cola

30. Walnut

31. Coco Yam

32. Millet

Solid minerals in Nigeria ready for export market.

33. Iron Ore

34. Charcoal

35. Bitumen

36. Zinc

37. Limestone

38. Lignite

39. Lead.

40. Marble.

41. Clay

How To find international buyers For Your export business In Nigeria

Exportation has one of the highest profit margin compared to any business, it is also one of the major factors that strengthens a nations Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P), but it can be very hectic and frustrating if you are new in the game and seek to gain trust of new customers.

Here are a very few sources to start sourcing out clients for your export business.

1. Source For Clients On LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social Network for professionals and Business connection worldwide, prospective buyers can however be connected on LinkedIn.

One of the first ways to get started on LinkedIn is to register an account and create a well detailed profile, accompanied with the above step you can create a website and publish export related and Agro based post to attract prospective customers.

2. Sign Up With Export Promotion Councils (EPC) in Nigeria .

Export Promotion Councils are governmental forums that deals in the promotion and regulation of local export connecting with these various organizations in your country can help you connect with more exporters and also help you facilitate export activities more easier and Faster. Make sure you rub minds with these people “Like Beget Like”.

3. Have An Search Engine Optimized Website.

One of the most important factor to be considered when designing your website is the proper implementation of Search Engine Optimized Website. This allows your Business website to show up in export related search results.

You never can tell There are thousand and millions of search queries being made on export and import related issues and one can only be a beneficiary of such free privileged if your website is search Engine optimized.

4. Participate In Trade Fairs.

Trade Fair is an seasonal event when buyers and seller from different part of the world converge at a particular location at a given time with the sole aim of buying and selling newly produced or already created products.

Trade Fairs is another means of sourcing for prospective customers, you can look out and prepare your products for upcoming Trade fairs in your country.

5. Register On International Trade Platforms.

There are various platform that connects your business to prospective customers all you need is to create an account and register your business on these platform. Some of these platforms are.


6. Engage In Email Marketing.

One of the oldest and effective marketing strategy known to the internet is the use of email marketing.

One way to utilize the use of email marketing is to build a website or a landing/sales page and collect user emails using a custom form built on the website.
Mass emails can now be sent using various email marketing software’s like.

7. Internet Marketing.

If you are starting out as a new and aspiring exporter, the Internet and Digital advertising is your only best alternative to secure prospective client in a faster way.

Search Engine and Social Media Ads are potent ways to also promote your services for prospective clients overseas.Advert can be placed on top websites, Android devices, YouTube and Facebook.
You can hire the services of a digital Marketer to utilize this service.
Click this link below to learn how to create a Google Ads.


The above mentioned steps and processes can be utilized at little or no cost, one of the many other ways that can be still be explored are.

  • Find Local Buyers Who Represent Foreign Companies.
  • Get Orders From Local Buyers Who Export To Foreign Organizations.
  • Make contact with a foreign Agents On Commission Basis.
  • Gather Import Lists From Foreign Embassies in your Nation and Abroad.
  • Contact The Chamber of Commerce of Other Countries e.g China, England, United states, and all other nations you think might be in need of your produce




What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Web developer| Digital Marketer| Entrepreneur


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