Due to steady high cost of doing business in Nigeria, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has called on exporters to leverage on available Information and Communications Technology, ICT to increase sales and generate revenue.
In reaction to a recent report from the World Bank, which listed Nigeria as one of the countries of the world with the highest cost of doing business, the Executive Director/CEO NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo stated that the application of manual processes was majorly responsible for this.
He advised exporters to utilize the standardized and streamlined processes of doing business which include tested and trusted online tools.
Represented by the Head, Information and Trade, Mrs. Francisca Odega, at a workshop on “Appropriate ICT Tools For Export,” Awolowo said:
“These tools are readily available to make the export business easy and in most cases the services are without any additional cost to exporters.”
Mr. Awolowo described the exporters as entrepreneurs and advised that they consider the prospect of increasing sales and revenue through the use of ICT tools to internationalize trade, generate export offers through the strategic display of products at key nodes on the internet.
According to him, Nigeria can join the league of oil producing countries who no longer depend on oil as source of revenues, example of which are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, among others.
“At the national level, it is necessary for Nigeria to diversify its export earnings and move away from its over-dependence on oil as the only source of foreign exchange revenue.
“The workshop, is part of the council’s effort as a lead agency with the responsibility of developing and promoting non-oil export and tailored with the purpose of sensitising the exporters and keeping them abreast with the latest ICT tools to enhance their competitiveness in the market place.”
Speaking also, ICT Consultant Mr. John Obi, explained that the digital world is a new age marketing platform that would creates new customers, derives brand awareness and generate revenue.
In his paper titled: Leveraging on Online Marketing Tools to Enhance Visibility and Sales, Mr. Obi explained that with the right skills in applying digital strategy, it is in no small measure an appropriate tool for export.
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George Oyewole also emphasized that online is key to business growth and that any business operated in the country without an online presence is not yet ready for business.
“If you are not online you are not doing business in today’s Nigeria, to survive in the export business, you must be online,” he said.