Experts in global export business have said that success of Nigeria’s local exports business in the 21st century will be determined by digital marketing operations.
They have also said that the digital operations will facilitate and boost the country’s $420bn Gross Domestic Product.
Speaking at a capacity building programme on ‘Use of e-commerce to promote export businesses for SMEs and other exporters’ organised by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in IIorin on Wednesday, Dr. Mustapha Ismaila of the department of Marketing, Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Ilorin, said that the nation’s efforts at trying to diversify our economy through non-oil export product business could only be attained by trying to showcase our products through the net.
“Approximately there are 8 billion people in the world and out of this number, 5.4 billion are connected to or use internet. (Internet World statistics 2022). Out of this number, according to the same source, 600 million of them are from Africa. Now, out of this 600 million, 109 million are from Nigeria.
“Also, 15.5 per cent of global GDP is from digital economy and Africa digital economy will reach N300 billion by 2025 while Nigeria is worth N100 billion in terms of revenue.
“In tahis 21st century, every organisation that desires to perform or succeed must transform into digital or internet operation, otherwise, they may be left behind, especially exporters from Nigeria. Even our efforts in trying to diversify our economy through non-oil export product business can only be attained by trying to showcase our products through the net.
“Digital business tools are essential for the nation’s SMES to keep track of its impact on their operations. What drives economic growth all over the world in innovation and competitiveness is digital economy because if you don’t digitalise, you cannot successfully compete, especially with friends from advanced countries.”
Mustapha, who said that though there were inherent challenges in digital operation in terms of transforming from manual to digital economy platform, heavy investment, security of property in terms of loss of data and network provision, added that the challenges did not imply throwing away the baby with bath water.
“There are opportunities as well. We, as organisations, should try to exploit the opportunities by using our strength to overcome the challenges in the competitive environment”.
In his speech at the event, the Executive Director/CEO, NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, represented by the Kwara state Trade Promotion Advisor, Mr. Ajayi Akinwunmi James, said that the council found out that major limitations faced by exporters included lack of ability to penetrate foreign markets, adding that the training programme would provide local exporters more convenient and easier method to showcase Nigerian products to the world.
“With the desire for the expansion of the economy with foreign exchange earnings, employment generation and economic growth, the Council has developed this programme to reduce physical stress encountered by exporters, hence the full utilization of online trade platforms,” he said.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Business Innovation and Technology, Ambassador Ibrahim Akaje, said that lack of updated digital marketing knowledge and dynamics was one of the major reasons Nigeria exporters failed in the international market.
The commissioner, who said that role of digital platform in Economic Revolution could not be overemphasized, added that “digitalization changes the economics of doing business across border, bringing down the cost of International interaction and transaction. Digital Revolution create markets and user communities with global scale, providing business with a huge base of potential customers and effective ways to reach them.
“The benefits of E-Commerce and digital trade are clear, abundant and undebatable not only does the 21 century economy enable more trade to occur, but it also connect the previously unconnected to the global marketplace. Electronic transmission undoubtedly promote internet penetration and mobile connectivity.”