How to Start Mini Exportation Trade Business in Nigeria

Export Trade is a very lucrative business in Nigeria, but only a few savvy business people have been able to harness its enormous potential.

If you ask entrepreneurs in Nigeria why they are not keen about exportation, they’d either say that the business is capital intensive or that there are too many bottlenecks involved.

However, both assertions are false.

Exportation is not capital intensive and there are not too many bottlenecks in the industry if you know what you are doing.

In this article, we’ll be looking at exactly how export trade or mini-exportation can be done profitably right from Nigeria.

This article is not exhaustive, but can serve as a guide to learning about how to start your own mini-exportation business in Nigeria.

That said, let’s dive in. 

So, what is Export Trade?

Export Trade is simply the opposite of import trade.

It involves the packaging and transportation of goods from Nigeria to another country.

Just like there are so many items you can import into Nigeria, there are so many items you can export from Nigeria as well.

You just have to make sure that the item you are exporting is not in the Export Prohibition List of the Nigerian Customs, and also not in the Import Prohibition List of the country you are exporting to.

Here is the Export Prohibition List of the Nigerian Customs:

  • Maize 
  • Timber (rough or sawn) 
  • Raw hides and skin (including Wet Blue and all unfinished leather) H.S. Codes 4101.2000.00 – 4108.9200.00 
  • Scrap Metals 
  • Unprocessed rubber latex and rubber lumps 
  • Artifacts and Antiquities 
  • Wildlife animals classified as endangered species and their products e.g. Crocodile; Elephant, Lizard, Eagle, Monkey, Zebra, Lion etc.
  • All Goods Imported

Mini-Exportation Business

You don’t need to have millions of Naira before you can start your own export trade business from Nigeria.

There are so many people who are way financially less buoyant than you that are doing well in the Export business.

To shed more light on the aforementioned, do you know that you can start a mini-exportation business with as low as 200,000 Naira.

Yes, 200k can effectively launch your mini-exportation business.

In fact, the capital for starting export trade is not the biggest roadblock for many. The main hindrance is finding the right buyers to patronize you.

How to Start Mini-Exportation

You can start your own mini-exportation business in Nigeria just by having the right tools.

Just like you would have to when you want to import products into the country, you would also need to have a few things in place before you can successfully begin exporting goods out of Nigeria.

Finding the right buyers’ contacts

The first step to starting your mini-exportation business is to have the right contacts who have a need for locally-sourced products.

Without these buyers, there wouldn’t be any export business in the first place. So, you need to find them first.

The Export Contract

Most of the buyers who would be buying from you are businesses, and they mostly do not pay until you send an invoice.

So, it’s best to have an export contract in place between you and the other party on how payments will be structured.

If you are not able to have an export contract agreement with the buyer, then you can find a third party, which can be an individual that can vouch for the buyer, or an export agency that will help you handle the whole export process.

Knowing how to source for high-quality export products

Once you have an export contract in place, the next step is to source for the export products.

If you are the sole provider of the product, then sourcing becomes a whole lot easier. However, in most cases, the quantity of produce required by the buyer may be more than you can supply individually, so you may need to find other local suppliers.

Having the capital to fulfill demands

Finally, after sourcing for the export products, you need to be able to fulfill the demand and export the products.

That means you have to be abreast of the packaging requirements and the timeline required by the buyer.

Failure to do these would lead to the buyer rejecting the goods, especially if the exported products are perishable.

Types of export trades in Nigeria

There are different ways to carry out export consignments in Nigeria. The method used would depend on your disposition and the type of export contact that you have.

Direct B2B export

Direct B2B export is utilized when you have your own direct contacts from abroad who are buying from you.

For example, if you have a friend abroad that runs a local kitchen and often needs supply of local vegetables, then you can utilize direct B2B export.

This is a good example of mini-exportation.

Procurement for Export Agency

Export Agencies are agencies that work with large scale importers abroad to source for export produce from several small exporters.

These export agencies export in container loads and often export goods using their own logistics.

You can be a procurer for an export agency in Nigeria and make good money. However, you will first need a contract and license with them to begin with.

What Items Do You export?

Apart from the items listed on the Nigerian Customs Export Prohibition List, you can export a wide variety of items.

Nigerians mostly export agro-allied products due to Nigeria being an agriculturally rich country. 

Also, most of the ingredients and condiments for our local foods cannot be sourced elsewhere.

Hence, restaurants serving Nigerian delicacies mostly look to Nigerian exporters to deliver local produce.

Here are some of the Nigerian popular export categories: 

  • Flower export
  • Processed meat export
  • Vegetables export
  • Fruits export
  • Processed foods export
  • Coconut export
  • Cashew nuts export
  • Bitter Kola Export
  • Cotton Export
  • Prawns Export
  • Spices Export
  • Melon seeds (Egusi) Export
  • Wild Mango seeds (Ogbono) Export

Exporting Goods From Nigeria

Exporting goods from Nigeria is a simple process. You only have to find a logistics partner and follow their packaging and handling guidelines.

Most mini-exporters in Nigeria utilize FedEx as their logistics partners for export trade.

This is because FedEx has a wide reach and delivers quickly.

Once the goods are well packaged, they are quickly cleared by the Nigerian Customs at the export station as well as at the import station of the recipient country. 

You can find a FedEx center anywhere around you, as they are thousands of FedEx agents across Nigeria.

A simple google search for “FedEx center near me” would bring up a lot of options for you.

The amount you spend on the logistics fee of your export produce would depend on the weight and size of your package.

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