“How Nigerian Manufacturers and Exporters Can Exploit Currency Weakness” | The Guardian Nigeria News

Local manufacturers and non-oil exporters have been urged to take advantage of the devalued currency to improve their export capacity and hedge against local challenges, especially under the Continental Free Trade Area agreement. African (AfCFTA).

Giving advice during the annual virtual forum for clients of the SME Directorate of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Francis Anatogu, Senior Special Assistant to the President for Public Sector Issues and Secretary, National Action Committee on ZLECAf, urged small businesses to exploit the opportunities that the COVID -19 pandemic has offered in terms of process and technology.

According to him, despite the losses associated with the pandemic, COVID-19 has fostered the adoption of new technologies and strategies for doing business.

He noted that with the devaluation of the currency, Nigeria’s adaptive capacity is reduced but improves its ability to hedge for export.

“The problem we have is the problem of growth. We must develop our economy to serve the continent. The challenges of AfCFTA implementation relate to production, infrastructure, insecurity, predatory business practices, regulation and financing. We are, however, working on the opportunities presented by these challenges.

“For the trade deal to work, we have to produce what we’re going to export and invest in people as well. We must help local demand through sponsorship and solve the problems of rising production costs. The liberalization of 90 percent of the products will be done over a period of 10 years and that gives us time to develop capacities, ”he added.

He also urged producers to deploy local content in their products to take advantage of opportunities in rules of origin (RoO) requirements, adding that products must also be certified by regulatory agencies to enjoy the benefits of RoOs. He noted that regulatory harmonization would also improve market access in many countries.

The Executive Director of the BoI, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Shekarau Omar, acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on businesses, adding that the bank had continued to step up its intervention with the SME segment.

“We are aware of the new normal and how things have changed. Support for SMEs during the pandemic was called laudable. We are aware of the challenges small businesses face in the country, but we will continue to help you grow your businesses, ”he said.

SME North Managing Director Dr Rislanudeen Muhammad noted that Nigeria was able to emerge from the recession thanks to the resilience of the economy and the efforts of the Federal Government as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan.

“We complement the efforts of deposit banks and are not in competition with them. With 41 million MSMEs, this segment of the economy cannot be ignored due to their potential for job creation.

“The BoI supports MSMEs in the area of ​​financing and we are not judged on profit but on our ability to create impact and that is why we are not in competition with DMB”, he explained. .

One of the beneficiaries of the BoI loan, Mohammed Bello Sani of Belas Rice Limited, while speaking about the challenges of exporting finished products and importing raw materials, instructed the companies to build their capacity to both in terms of products and personnel.

According to him, companies need enough capital or lines of credit to meet market demand, find ways to reduce the financial risks of international trade and effectively deal with different monetary systems.

For his part, Oluremi Martins, while speaking on the challenges and opportunities of e-commerce and digital marketing, said that the internet has created a platform for small businesses to enter the market regardless of their location. , adding that companies should position themselves in the online space. .

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