Updated: Mar 29
Non-oil exports in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, have been on the rise. This is largely due to rising demand for raw materials globally, increasing industrialization in Asia, a growing middle class across the continent, and fluctuating oil prices and the drop in global demand.
This has led to a search for other viable sources of income, which could be done at relatively lower cost and greater efficiency. According to data from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, some of the major non-oil export products include cocoa beans, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, urea, cigarettes, aluminum ingots, finished leather, soya bean meal, cocoa butter, processed frozen shrimp and crabs, among others (Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/08/boosting-non-oil-exports-through-n50bn-export-expansion-programme/#:~:text=According%20to%20data%20from%20the,shrimp%20and%20crabs%2C%20among%20others.).
This article will highlight 10 of Nigeria's amazing non-oil exports that you should know about.
10 Amazing Non-Oil Exports from Nigeria You Should Know About.
Dried Cassava Flour/ Garri
Palm Kernel Oil
1. Leather Goods
Source: Media from Wix
Great leather goods are a great way to start your own business. Leather is one of the oldest industries and it's been around for centuries.
Today, Nigeria’s semi-finished and finished leather have their highest patronage in Italy, Spain, India, South Asia and China. Shoes, belts, bags and folders are largely traded in West Africa and the rest of Africa.
Nigeria is the world's sixth largest exporter of rice despite the fact that it is a major importer of rice. There are high chances that Nigeria may become an exporter to other countries in the next few years due to rapid increase in rice production.
3. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are a non-oil export in Nigeria. They have a very wide range of uses as well as being very versatile, but there is still potential for growth in the industry.
Sesame seeds are important as a source of income for many farmers in Nigeria. It is also the third most traded commodity in the global market.
The country has the potential to export the product to foreign markets, provided we have good packaging and marketing strategies. Sesame seeds could be processed into table form, or even cooking oil.
These are some of the things that can be done to make this an excellent non-oil export.
4. Dried Cassava Flour/ Garri
Cassava flour has many other uses, it can be used to make cassava bread, pasta, cookies, amongst others. It can also be used as a substitute for wheat in the production of various products.
Cassava is an exceptionally high source of vitamin C compared to many other staple crops (and grains) and a better vitamin C source than potatoes, yams, wheat brown rice, corn and plantains. Although it’s debatable how much vitamin C is retained during cassava’s manufacturing process. (https://draxe.com/nutrition/cassava-flour/)
Cassava flour has the potential to boost Nigerian exports by creating new markets for it abroad. Cassava flour is gluten free, grain and nut-free, as well as vegan, vegetarian and paleo. Also, it does not contain any hydrogenated oils. (https://downshiftology.com/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-cassava-flour/)
Dried cassava flour, popularly known as Garri can be a good non-oil export in Nigeria.
Garri is produced when cassava, a root crop, is processed into powder and then reconstituted with water to make a dough-like substance. The product is popular among Nigerians.
You also might have heard of another popular product made from cassava: tapioca. Tapioca is usually found in stores in the form of small, white pearls made from extracted cassava starch. (https://www.ottosnaturals.com/) Tapioca is the bleached and extracted starch of the cassava root, while cassava flour is more of a “whole food” made from the entire root.
5. Palm Kernel Oil
Palm Kernel Oil is the main constituent of palm oil and has the potential to become one of the most important non-oil exports in Nigeria. This is due to its wide range of potential uses in manufacturing and also as a food supplement. It is obtained from the kernel or seed of the fruit of oil palms.
It is used in food and cosmetics as a source of vitamin E. Palm oil has made a significant contribution to the economy of Nigeria and there are several areas where palm oil is produced and exported.
With the high palm kernel oil demand in Europe, countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand are already reaping the benefits of this product. They have seen their revenues soar tremendously over the last few years. However, while they are exporting large volumes of this product to European countries, Nigeria still imports palm kernel oil from them. Check out a course on 'Black Palm Kernel Oil Production' on https://learn.nigerianexportacademy.com/course/black-palm-kernel-oil-production
Rubber, one of the major non-oil exports in Nigeria, is a natural product that is extracted from the rubber tree. The rubber industry in Nigeria is one of the important industries in the country. Rubber, as a non-oil export, has been a major contributor to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the Nigerian Rubber Manufacturers Association (NRMA), rubber is an important crop in Nigeria because it offers employment to thousands of Nigerians who are employed directly or indirectly in the sector. Also, according to research by the International Rubber Study Group, Nigeria is ranked top in terms of producing and exporting natural rubber (Source: https://www.rubberstudy.org/reports). The country also produces more than 60% of the world’s natural rubber (Source: https://nigerianinfopedia.com.ng/largest-rubber-producing-states-in-nigeria/).
The main use of latex is to make rubber. Rubber is used to make a variety of products, including: tires, roofing sheets, gloves, boots, raincoats, pond liners, mattresses, amongst others. There are also uses for latex in the medical field. It can be used to make bandages, and surgical gloves. These items are all sterile, which is important because they come in contact with sensitive parts of the body. Latex is also used to make paint brushes, syringes, balloons, etc.
With the right support, textiles could be the next wave in non-oil exports. That’s because the industry has tremendous growth potential, and is more accessible than other sectors.
How can you get started with textiles as part of your long-term business strategy? Watch out for a course on https://www.nigerianexportacademy.com
8. Cocoa Beans
The cocoa industry in Nigeria is the second largest in the world, after that of Ghana.
Nigeria can produce cocoa beans, palm oil and rubber in abundance. However, there are many countries in Africa that are already doing this. This is why Nigeria should focus more on cocoa beans as a non-oil export.
While these three commodities have been the major exports from Nigeria for a long time now, there is a lot of room for diversification. Cocoa beans not only have great health benefits; it also has a huge market abroad and can be sold for big profits to companies like Nestle and Hershey’s Chocolate.
Cashew is a non-oil export in Nigeria and it is one of the top three exports in Africa. The production of cashew in Nigeria has also increased over time and the country is ranked first in Africa and sixth globally. Cashew is a rich source of proteins and vitamins. It is a high-value crop that can produce more than one cashew nut from each kernel.
It is usually processed into cashew nut shell liquid, or CNC which is used to process plastic and paint, and also into cream cheese.
Cashew nut is a potential non-oil export for Nigeria, as it can be used in the production of milk, cheese and butter. It can also be ground into a powder to make milk shakes and desserts. As much as cashew nuts may seem like a luxury item to Nigerians because of the way it’s packaged, there are still lots of people who eat them raw. Cashew nuts have been a snack food for many children.
It is also a source of income for farmers as well as traders. It is also an important source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.
How can you get started with cashew exportation? Check out a course on 'Understanding the Cashew Export Value Chain' on https://learn.nigerianexportacademy.com/course/cashew-export-value-chain
This is the most common spice in our kitchen, it's time we start marketing it as a non-oil export. Ginger is a tropical plant that is used as a spice in almost all cultures of the world because of its flavor, aroma and medicinal properties.
Nigeria can be the largest producer and exporter of ginger in Africa. The soil and climate are favorable for ginger production.
The three states in northern Nigeria, Kaduna, Katsina and Kano have been identified as ginger growing areas.
In Nigeria, ginger is a very important export crop after oil and cocoa. It is sold in all parts of the world, especially in Europe and the United States.
It can be eaten fresh or used as a dried spice. It is also used to make ginger tea, which has many health benefits like relieving nausea and vomiting.
Yes, we said just 10, but who doesn't love 'jara'? So here we have additional options for you:
Nigeria is currently one of the largest producers of cotton in Africa and the second largest exporter in the world. The textile industry is also a significant part of Nigeria’s $37 billion GDP. This is due to an abundance of cotton and a labor force that is well-trained to produce high-quality textiles.
Shrimps as a non-oil export in Nigeria:
Focusing on the shrimp farming industry, which we believe can be a major source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. The industry is one of the most profitable ones, with huge potential for growth.
Nigeria has the potential to become an exporter of shrimps with our large coastline, sandy beaches and tropical climate.
In an effort to diversify the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian Export Academy (NEXA) has brought a 'free' digital learning platform for some entrepreneurs who want to begin or have begun to explore the "non-oil" export potential.
Learning how to expand your reach as an exporter is now at your fingertips!
Download the app - NEXA;
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