How to Start Exportation Business in Nigeria


Nigeria is a country where trade and commerce are predominant. Exportation, which means sending goods out of the country for sale abroad, is one way to make money in Nigeria.

This article will show you how to start exportation business in Nigeria with very little capital.

One of the best businesses to start in Nigeria today is exporting business.

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The country is a powerhouse of resources with plenty to export, but the problem has always been a lack of funds and access.

Nowadays, however, there are various funding options available that can help you start your exportation business in Nigeria without spending too much money.

There’s no need for traditional bank loans or credit cards.

Benefits of starting exportation business in Nigeria:

A lot of people are doing exportations these days and it is one way to make money from the country resources that we have but don’t use, and a new market for our products abroad which will create more employment opportunities as well as provide us with much needed foreign currency.

In the next lines below, we will show you some useful tips to start your exportation business in Nigeria.

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1. Do Product Research

The first thing to do is research your product. Find out how much it sells for in the local market and whether or not you can sell it abroad at a higher price, which will help cover any cost differences in materials.

Some examples of goods mostly exported from Nigeria to other countries are cocoa beans, palm oil, and steel products. It is important that you consider products that the demand is high in the international market.

Do research on the best countries to target and how short supply the product is in that country.

Consider what kind of packaging would work best and find a supplier who can provide this service as well as transport.

Consider the costs of doing business in Nigeria, and find out how much it would cost you to do your own transportation.

Some examples of goods mostly exported from Nigeria to other countries are cocoa beans (N15 billion), palm oil (N12 billion), and steel products which account for N11 billion annually. It is important that you also look at the laws and regulations of both countries before you start to export goods.

We could have more than $200 billion worth of goods exported from Nigeria annually if the right policies are put in place for ease of doing business and also serious investment in transportation infrastructure.

The United States is a good market to be exporting to because they have been looking for ways to diversify their economy outside of oil and gas. They are also one of the largest trading partners with Nigeria, so it is in both countries best interest to work together on this.

2. Register your Business.

Now that you have to find the right product(s) to export, the next thing you want to do is to register your business. In Nigeria, you need to register the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and also apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

In order to be able to export goods from the country, you will have to prove that your products meet their standards by getting an inspection or certification of some sort. With your business registered you can be able to employ staff and rent space.

3. Find Buyers or suppliers.

You will need to find the right buyer or supplier in order to be able to export your product. This can happen through trade exhibitions, asking people you know well who might already sell products abroad, and just using Google search engine. Find out what they want and why do they think it is a good idea for them to buy from you?

Visit different directories and supplier websites to find out if they would be interested in your product. If you plan to import products, make sure that the country you are exporting from has a favorable exchange rate so as not to lose money on foreign currency exchanges.

4. Work out Logistics


Distribution, transportation, and general supply chain logistics are the next important elements you need to work on.

Does your product require refrigeration? How will it be transported from one point to another, by land or air? What might regulations exist for a particular country that would affect its sale in the said marketplace?

Your overall fulfillment strategy and international logistics should entail the following:

How will your product be stored, by refrigeration or otherwise?

– How much storage space do you need for the number of products that you are planning to export and import?

– Will it requires special handling, like on an airplane with dry ice?

This is a consideration if the distance between countries is long and your product is perishable

– How will you store the products in Nigeria if it cannot be imported from abroad?

How many containers or shipping units do you need for how long a time period, given that they are coming by sea or air freight cargo.

What size of the container should I use to ship my goods?

5. Marketing

Next, you may need to also consider how the product will be marketed depending on the nature of your exportation business.

You may need to provide answers to questions like:

– Will it is sold in wholesale or retail, and to whom would the prices eventually be determined?

How much margin can I expect when selling my products abroad (especially if they are made in Nigeria)?

– What is the target customer base that you hope to reach with these goods/services.

6. Get Export License and Documentation

A lot of people don’t know that before you can successfully transport a product outside of Nigeria, you must register with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for the appropriate license and documents.

This body is charged with exporters’ directory and verification of exporter’s certificate. Also, this body has tons of resources to help new entrepreneurs understand how exporting works better.

By listing your exportation business on NEPC, not only will you become eligible to take orders from any location around the world but also get access to all sorts of information about various markets which might be interested in buying what services or products Nigerians have to offer!

List of most exported products in Nigeria

  •      Shrimps
  •      Cashew nuts
  •      Local rice
  •      Snails
  •      Vegetables (fresh and dry)
  •      Pan kernel
  •      Cotton
  •      Bitter cola
  •      Charcoal etc.
  •      Beans
  •      Cola nuts
  •      Cocoa
  •      Palm fruit
  •      Locust beans
  •      Honey
  •      Ogbono seeds
  •      Rubber
  •      Textiles and garments
  •      Plantain
  •      Cocoa butter
  •      Yam tubers
  •      Melon (Egusi)
  •      Ginger
  •      Cassava flour
  •      Dried fish
  •      Breadfruit (UKWA)
  •      Palm oil
  •      Garlic


I hope you have learned a few ways to start an export business in Nigeria. The market is waiting for your products or services, and so are the people of this country!

If you’ve made it this far down on my list, then congratulations-you’re well on your way to starting up a successful export company.

It takes dedication and hard work but there are tons of opportunities out there when you know where to look.

Next time someone asks me how they can get started with exporting from Nigeria, these articles will be at the top of my mind because they’re not only informative but also helpful too!


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