MAKING FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR EXPORT COMPANIES WILL ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE PART OF THE REGULATED COMMODITY PLATFORM
A company playing very big in the Nigeria’s agricultural sector, Sourcing and Produce, has called for the support of the government particularly in the area of access to loans.
The company said that making funds available for export companies would encourage them to be part of the regulated commodity platform, adding that the agricultural sector has limitless opportunities that can be explored in the export market.
The Chief Executive Officer of Sourcing and Produce, Lanre Awojoodu, said the company was working to unlock the potential of the agricultural sector to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth.
In Awojoodu’s own words, “I would suggest an NXP pre-financing scheme; this will help the government and exporters. Government makes available affordable loans for exporters who have a track record of NXP’s. Let us say a situation where you can get a loan of 50-70 per cent of your NXP value of the previous year in a loan.
“If you default, then you are blacklisted. Capital needs to be cheaper to be able to compete on prices globally. A framework along this line will be positive. The government will see more exporters using the Importer and Exporter FX window.”
He said getting credible customers, in the beginning, was a challenge for the company.
“How do you get them to trust and respect you as a Nigerian? I sold this by leveraging my relationships with people I knew abroad to help me engage customers. For example, I searched for a Dutch friend to help engage a Dutch customer. Apart from that, the cost of funding is another major issue.
“In this part of the world, agric commodity export is a capital-intensive business. A $1m investment is even just the start. A container of ginger pepper is about N25m; this means with N100m, you may not do so much before the season ends,” he said.