The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has highlighted trade in services as one of the major opportunities for export that can be exploited by Nigerian producers, as Africa imports over $12 billion worth of ICT services.

The NEPC disclosed this in its “Opportunities in the Export Market” report published recently.

The Council also highlighted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as a beneficiary of the services trade with opportunities for borderless trade through e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile commerce).

What the NEPC said about trade in services

“Exports in services is a $4.7 trillion a year market, accounting for 19% of the world’s global export market,” the report said.

The report added that Africa imported over $12 billion worth of ICT services in 2018.

“This is a huge opportunity for Nigeria under the AFCTA as 97 million new digital jobs will be created globally by 2025 of which 80% will be outsourced,” the report stated.

On AfCFTA opportunities

The report said that export to African countries only accounts for 13% of Nigeria’s total exports.

“Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and South Africa in total import at least $1 billion worth of rice annually which surpasses the zero-oil target for rice exports for Nigeria,” it added.

The report also stated that leveraging AfCFTA could potentially increase rice exports by about 500%, citing opportunities including borderless trade through e-commerce and m-commerce, the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS), Intra-Africa trade which is 16% of Africa’s global trade, a market of 1.2 billion people, zero tariffs on imports and a combined GDP of $3 trillion.

What you should know

In the last Gross Domestic Product Report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s information and communication sector grew by 5.5% in Q2 2021 from 6.31% in Q1 2020 and 16.52% in Q2 2020.

The sector is composed of the four activities of Telecommunications and Information Services; Publishing; Motion Picture, Sound Recording, and Music Production; and Broadcasting.

In nominal terms, the sector’s growth stood at -0.07% (year-on-year), a 1.08% point increase compared to the rate of -1.15% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020, but -7.93% points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding quarter.