The Federal Government warned that too much regulatory requirement hurts Nigeria’s export potential and has called for a rehabilitation of Nigeria’s economic regulatory agencies, to boost investment and economic growth.

This was disclosed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday after he received a report of an ad hoc committee of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) on agro-export at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He warned that the over regulatory process leads to slower certification process compared to Nigeria’s neighbours and is leaving Nigerian producers behind.

What the Vice President said:

He warned that there are too many regulatory requirements for producers in Nigeria, citing that too many regulations kill output. “We have to take a second look at how we regulate; over-regulation is killing businesses; it kills investments; an agric exporter can’t export perishable produce after months.” He said.

He also added that the process of product certifications is longer in Nigeria on the regulatory queues, adding that businesses from outside the country with faster regulations are doing better. “Because our certification processes are slow, others from outside nations-from neighbouring countries based on an ECOWAS agreement–with faster processes can bring their products and sell here, while our own businesses are still on the queues of regulatory agencies,” he said.

The PEBEC report on agro-export warned that exporters complained about the imposition of the NAFEX rate on export proceeds, which limits their access to foreign exchange and their inability to utilise their export proceeds. They added dollars domiciled in exporters’ accounts cannot be utilised for freight payment for export; There were multiple physical cargo examinations by Pre-shipment Inspection Agencies and also “multiple and sometimes overlapping documentation requirements from government regulatory agencies.” The Council has approved an Agro-Export Action Plan that will remedy the situation and also approved a 60-day National Action Plan 7.0 that continues the ease of doing business reforms of the Buhari administration, which kicks off on the 7th of February.

In case you missed it

Recall Nairametrics reported that the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr Ezra Yakusak, said the FG will increase efforts to accelerate the competitiveness of Nigerian exportable brands in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The NEPC stated it would ensure that Nigerian exporters were adequately prepared for business through partnerships with relevant development partners, local and international. He stated that Nigerian exporters must be ready for global standards which would give Nigerian exports an edge in the AfCFTA.

Also at the Nairametrics Economic Outlook webinar, themed, “Your Money, The Economy and Government Policies,” Andrew Nevin, Financial Services Leader and Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria warned that given a rapidly rising population, African economies must rely less on exporting raw materials and more on trading with each other especially through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).



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