When ships arrive at Nigeria's ports after weeks of sailing across the sea from other continents, they are filled with electronics, furniture, food and clothes. On the return journey, 70% to 80% of the containers that exit the country are empty. Nigeria’s biggest export, as those on the frontline of the shipping trade say, is just air.
Outside of oil, exports have always been a struggle for us. What does it take to fill those containers with goods from Nigeria to other countries?
Well, the major challenge with exporting to other markets is meeting their standards.
This is particularly the case with agriculture, which Nigeria is positioning to become our export darling.
When food is produced, sold and consumed locally, traders worry less about international food trade standards. And to be honest, they don’t need to. You’re good to go as long as you adhere to the National Agency for