Lagos State Government has assured the Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria (CIECOBON) of its support to promote the export of locally made goods.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande gave the assurance when the leadership of the Institute, led by the President/Chairman, Dr. Ayobami Omotoso, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry on Thursday.
She stated that Lagos, as the host of the two major sea ports in Nigeria, the Tin Can Island and Roro Port Terminals, has a great role to play in promoting the export of Nigerian products while addressing the imbalance in the nation’s foreign trade.
Her words: “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very keen at encouraging increased export of locally made goods, which is why the government has extended numerous supports, especially to the MSMEs and provided platforms such as the MSMEs Exclusive Fair and others for entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services to the world”.
“I believe that Lagos has a major role to play in reducing the nation’s dependency on crude oil revenue and we will continue to work with organisations such as yours to achieve this”, she added.
Akande, who spoke through the Deputy Director, Commerce, Mr. Dayo Shobayo, averred that the role of the state government is to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and encourage export through an Export Promotion Committee in the Ministry, which is collaborating with various stakeholders to position products and services in the State for increased export.
While inviting the leadership of the Institute to attend the meeting of the Committee to further leverage their activities towards increasing the volume of exports from the State, the Commissioner charged them to write a position paper on how the Institute can assist MSMEs to package their products for export as their contribution to the State and the nation at large.
The President/Council Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria, Dr. Ayobami Omotoso, stated that the Institute needs the support of the government to tap into the abundant opportunities in commodity brokerage and export.
He added that these will discourage informal export as the State and the people involved are losing great resources, stressing that the body requires the regulatory support of the Ministry to standardise operations and ensure the orderly conduct of its businesses.
“With the position of Lagos State as one of the fastest growing business cities in the world and a catalyst for the promotion of exports in Nigeria, we are here to explore more avenues to work with the State Government, the education and information bank of export in Nigeria. We also want the State to consider our involvement in the Lekki Free Zone”, he said.
According to Omotoso; most countries are focusing on export, and Lagos with its huge economic activities, stands a greater chance to be a big player in the nation’s export business, emphasising the need to concentrate on the production of organic products for easier compliance with regulatory provisions of the destination countries.
Mr Olatunji Belo, a member of the National Working Committee of the Institute, also said most of the producers, especially MSMEs, lack adequate knowledge in export education, which has not allowed some of them to take advantage of the foreign markets, saying the Institute can bridge the gap through theoretical and practical training it offers.
The Chartered Institute of Export And Commodity Brokers of Nigeria is an amalgamation of the Institute of Export Brokers of Nigeria and Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria.