By Nume Ekeghe
Sterling Bank Plc recently held a webinar for customers in the business of import/export of goods and services.
The Executive Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Sterling Bank, Mr. Raheem Owodeyi, told participants at the online forum that the bank would continue to support import and export businesses with access to foreign exchange.
Owodeyi said: “Those who go all out to obtain the foreign exchange outside of the official channels tend to incur higher than required costs, and in a bid to reduce the constraints of its customers, the bank decided to put together the seminar to educate customers on how they can manage the changes created by the pandemic, dearth of foreign exchange and how they can source foreign exchange through the right channels.”
Also speaking, the Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), South West Regional Office, Lagos, Mr. Samuel Oyeyipo, in his paper titled, ‘Export trade in Nigeria, Opportunities and Requirements, said exporters engage in their business to earn forex, gain access to bigger markets and increase profit levels. He explained that there are several opportunities in non-oil exports for leather, cashew, cocoa, rubber and manufactured products, among others, saying they all have potential to contribute to the nation’s non-oil foreign exchange earnings.
He also listed some of the major destinations for Nigerian exports as Europe, US, Asia, other parts of the African continent and the Middle East, adding that steps taken to export products include an export plan, decision on the product or service to export, business registration with appropriate regulatory bodies like CAC and NEPC, and opening of foreign currency domiciliary account to receive FX earnings. Other requirements include adequate packaging and labelling of products for export, which must meet certain international standards of containment, protection and preservation.
The regional coordinator also said NEPC was engaged in some intervention projects such as collaborations with Sterling Bank to train interested individuals and enterprises on export business, human capital development, among others.