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25+ Hottest Profitable Non-Oil Export Products in Nigeria

What are the top hottest non-oil export products in Nigeria? How do I make money by exporting non oil products? How do you tap into the multi-billion dollar non-oil products export industry? Well, if you have interest in the non-oil export sector of Nigeria, or you are a foreign investor looking for a high yield business opportunity; then read on.

According to statistics by the Chamber of Commerce, the non-oil product export sector is rapidly on the rise. Thanks to the Federal Government’s policy and support for the non-oil industry especially agriculture. Now to make money as a non-oil products exporter in Nigeria, you must first assess your company’s export readiness.

Are you really prepared for the challenges and protocols of exporting? Are you prepared to adhere to strict international standard and client’s specification? These are questions you must answer before venturing into the export business.

Secondly, you must prepare an export marketing plan. To do this, you must research and select your target market. Your plan must also include details that will help you determine the best methods of delivering your product or service to your target market. Next, you need to develop a sound financial plan; and understand the legal aspects involved in international transactions. Now since I have made the above points clear, below are 25 hottest profitable non-oil export products in Nigeria.

25+ Hot-in-Demand Non-Oil Products to Export from Nigeria

  • Cassava flour

Cassava flour has very close substitute in garri, yam flour, plantain flour etc. This notwithstanding, it is a very popular food item that is easy and fast to prepare. The raw material for this project is cassava tubers. The raw material is available all over the federation.

The machinery, accessories and equipment needed to produce good quality cassava flour are cassava peeler, cassava tuber, grinder, sieve, dryer, fermentation tank, sealing /sewing machine and international standard measuring scale. All of the above can be fabricated locally for any capacity required by investors. There is a ready market in Europe, America and Middle East.

  • Cotton

Cotton is the most important natural fiber of the 20th century. The efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the development of the nation’s cotton sector received a boost recently, as the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) got a lifeline of N33 million to enable the sector bounce back to life.

Nigerian snails are in high demands in America and Europeans Countries. The only thing the snails may constantly demand from you is your attention and care but they hardly fall sick.

You don’t have to buy their food and you may not have to spend much to create an abode for them. The beauty of it all is that the snails reproduce rapidly. They are capable of producing hundreds of eggs, which hatch into snails. It is now possible to produce 1,000,000 snails worth more than N5 million twice a year.

  • Ginger

Ginger is one of the most important articles of trade in the world spice market, where it is found fresh, dehydrated, preserved powdered and other forms. Though, Nigeria is among the World’s largest producers of ginger. Ginger’s flavor and colour vary with its origin and harvesting, storage and processing conditions.

  • Leather and Footwear

Presently the world footwear and leather products sector is moving from high-cost industrialized countries to developing countries and many developing countries (Nigeria inclusive) have strong potentials in this sector regarding raw material and human resources, but have mainly remained suppliers of raw and semi-finished products.

The raw materials for leather and its products are mainly from livestock, and Nigeria is endowed with the third largest livestock population in Africa. Raw materials availability has been acknowledged as a basic comparative advantage towards the export of leather and leather products.

Palm kernel oil (PKO) is extracted from the kernel of palm. It should not be confuse with palm oil, which is obtained from the pulp of fruit of the palm. Palm kernel oil has a light yellow color and it has a milder flavor than palm oil. It is often used in the manufacture of various cosmetic, confectionery and pharmaceutical industries.

Palm Kernel Oil Crushing is a viable investment because raw materials can be sourced at ease, the production technology is simple and feasible, and the market for end products are automatic.

  • Palm Kernel Cake

Palm kernel cake (PKC) as a by-product in the milling of palm kernel oil. Palm kernel cake is considered a medium grade protein in feed, containing 14.6% to 16.0% crude protein, useful for fattening cattle either as a single feed, with only minerals and vitamins supplementation or mixed with other feedstuff. It has also become the main ingredient in daily cattle ration.

Palm kernel cake is commonly exported, mainly to Europe. It is delivered in bulk via vessel or pack in bags for easier handling and distribution. Lately, it is also used as Biomass fuel in Europe especially United Kingdom to provide heat and energy. The cake is demanded by feed millers and by exporters.

  • Yam flour

There is no doubt that Nigeria produces yam in abundance. In every state of the country, yam is available. It is estimated that over 30% of the harvested yam tubers are lost as waste, but due to the availability of processing and preservation mechanism it is easy. The machinery and equipment needed to process yam flour are:

  1. Yam peeler
  2. Milling machine
  3. Boiler
  4. Scale
  5. Dryer
  6. Sealing machine
  7. Packing machine

If there is a country that should take this project very seriously, it is Nigeria. It is the world’s largest producer of yams (over six million metric tones) accounting for over 50% of its output. Of this output, only about 5% (300,000 MT) is put into industrial use by way of chips and flour.

  • Textiles and Garments

Nigerians can now tap into the $31bn US Booming Garment Market. When AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) came into effect, many Nigerians saw a window of foreign exchange earning in the textile and garment section of the act and keyed into it.

Such Nigerians now earn millions of dollars from garment and textile exports to the US annually. Nigeria’s textiles and apparels have been granted duty-free passage into the United States’ where a large market exists for ethnic African fabrics and designs.

  • Cocoa butter

Like many trees, the cocoa tree produces fruit. Inside this fruit are seeds known as “cocoa beans.” When cocoa beans are crushed and pressed, cocoa butter and cocoa powder are released, both of which are essential to chocolate making. The smooth texture, sweet fragrance and emollient property of cocoa butter make it a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products, such as soaps and lotions.

Because of its high stability, cocoa butter is also used in a variety of health and beauty products as well, such as lotions, facial products, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. This product is in high demand in UK and America.

  • Gum Arabic

Gum Arabic is produced by Acacia trees and occurs within the Sahel Ecological zone of Nigeria. We are currently the third largest exporter of Gum Arabic in Africa, after Sudan and Chad. Its annual exports are estimated at 5,000 metric tons. The highest quality of Gum Arabic—Grade 1—is used in a wide variety of food, beverage, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products, making the market for this grade of gum quite robust.

The Nigerian Gum Arabic season is December to April of the following year and the trading period of the product takes place between January and June of every other year. Newly established National Association of Gum Arabic Producers, Processors and Exporters of Nigeria (NAGAPPEN) chapters in each state have been the vehicle through which informal training has been conducted.

Cashews are found wild and cultivated in about 14 States in Nigeria but it has potential for cultivation in almost all part of the country. Actual production figure is not available, but is estimated to be around 50,000 tons annually. Over 80 per cent of it is exported raw and unprocessed to India, Vietnam and Brazil, where they are processed into kernels and sold for higher value in Europe and North-America.

In recent times, world market price of kernels has stabilized at $1.7 per pound for the benchmark grade – W320. This consumer-friendly price is likely to sustain continued demand for the product, even as new low cost suppliers enter the international market. One cashew tree produces between 200 and 300 cashew nuts in a year.

  • Charcoal

The cry for alternative energy source has put CHARCOAL in the forefront in the global market. A large market exists in EU, USA and ASIA with prices ranging from $700 to $800 per ton, with about 40% return on Investment. This product is virtually available all over Nigeria as many local communities have perfected the technology of charcoal production.

Some known charcoal deports are found in places like Oyo, Isheyin, Saki Igbo-Ora, Ogbomosho- all in the western part of the country. We also have depots in Jebba, Omu Aran, Egbe, Kabba in the Central States. Charcoal is found in abundance also in Minna, Jos and Kaduna. Besides, an individual can produce his own charcoal wherever he/she is located.

  • Cosmetics and soap

The technology and art of making soap has been with us for a very long time. It is only the technology that has improved globally, which Nigeria investors can as well imbibe. Cosmetic and soap production, whether laundry or toilet, can be carried out in any part of the country. One can conveniently set up a virile and dependable plant using locally manufactured machinery and equipment.

Apart from the big Nigerian market, one can cash in on the high demand from the neighboring countries (whose citizens travel several kilometers to Nigeria to purchase their daily essentials) to embark on export, once the quality is good and price competitive.

Gallstone is clay-like solid substance found in the gallbladder of a matured cow or oxen. It is about the size of a peanut and can be as big as a pigeon egg. At times, they could be as big as ordinary eggs and can weigh between 15 and 18 grammes. They are collected by pharmaceutical companies abroad for medical purposes.

A good quality gallstone should be dried upon collection of some quantity say 100g, you can then parcel them and send to buyers abroad who then pay with hard currency immediately the parcel is received. Gallstone has a well-established market in Asia and America. The market is guaranteed and can take up as much quantity as supplied without any adverse effect on the price.

25 Hottest Profitable Non-Oil Export Products in Nigeria

  • Rubber

The Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN) has acquired costly equipment to act as a designated Central Testing Laboratory (CTL) in Nigeria. This accreditation would ensure that the Institute examines and certifies rubber produced in Nigeria for export.

The reality right now is that the increasing cost of sourcing rubber wood has made companies in Asia and buyers in the U. S. and Europe to search for cheaper sources particularly among rubber producing countries, of which Nigeria is a significant producer. The export market takes first quality rubber wood almost exclusively; a cubit meter of wood goes for between $250 and $350 depending on the quality

  • Shea butter

Shea butter or Shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from fruit of the Shea tree by crushing and boiling. Sometime ago, the former Nigerian First Lady, Hajia Turai Umaru YarAdua invited Japanese Shea Butter experts to set up a factory that will train Nigerian women who have been known to be actively involved in the production of Shea butter in the country.

Capitalizing on Shea butter global popularity, Nigeria and Japan will team up to bolster female entrepreneurs in Nigeria and strengthen the country’s economy by increasing production of the nut-based fat. It is hoped that with Japan support and intervention and additional support from government, Shea butter production will witness new heights as a foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

  • Sesame seed

Sesame seeds (sesamum indicum) belong to the plant family Pedaliaceae. It is an important oilseed crop believed to have originated from tropical Africa. 25% of world sesame seed hecterage is planted in Africa and Nigeria is one of the major producers of sesame seed in Africa.

It is found predominantly in Benue and Jigawa States in Northern Nigeria. It is one of the oldest food and cash crop in Nigeria which is produced in 21 states of the Federation. The commodity ranks second to cocoa in terms of volume of export and foreign exchange earnings.

Global production in 2005 was put at 2.4 million metric tonnes with China and India as leading producers. Nigeria is the 5th largest producer of the commodity in the world with an estimated production of 120,000 metric tones annually.

  • Garlic

Garlic is usually grown under irrigation by farmers as a cash crop in the Savanna zone of Nigeria, between the months of November and March. In Nigeria, however, reliable production figures are not readily available due to paucity of published information on the production of this crop. Garlic is a product that can earn you foreign dollars in America and EU Countries.

  • Chili Pepper

Nigeria is known to be one of the major producers of pepper in the world. The implication of this is that we have the good weather that can readily support the growth and production of pepper in Nigeria. There are hundreds of different types of chili peppers that vary in size, shape, color, flavor and hotness. This fleshy berry features many seeds inside a potent package that can range from less than one inch to six inches in length, and approximately one-half to one inch in diameter. Chili peppers are usually red or green in color.

  • Pure Honey

Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains other sugars as well trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Honey is manufactured in one of the world’s most efficient factories, the beehive. Honey is currently priced between US$ 10.00 AND US$12.00 per kilogram at international market. At the Nigerian market, genuine pure natural honey cost between N1000-N1,500 per litre.

The term poultry is generally used to refer all the domestic birds kept egg or meat purposes. Neighboring West East and Northern Africa Countries also depend on poultry eggs from Nigeria, as the weather for the production of poultry eggs is highly conducive in Nigeria compared to these neighboring countries.

Irrespective of the abundant animal feeds, which are readily available, there is also the export potential, which has not been tapped fully. For any person or corporate bodies looking for a project that will generate income on a daily basis, poultry egg production is one of such project.

  • Fruit juice

The Nigerian market provides huge export market opportunities for U.S. exporters of fruit juice concentrate. Nigeria’s fruit juice market has grown 60 percent over the last five years and this growth is due to increasing incomes of Nigerian consumers, an expanding middle class, and greater health-consciousness of consumers. The federal government on the 29th January 2003 announced the total ban of importation of fruit Juice (either in bottled or packaged form).

However, investors can import such in big drums or containers as raw materials in their industries, for repacking or rebottling in Nigeria. There are lots of natural fruit in the country namely: Mango, Citrus, Tomato, Paw-paw, guava, Pineapple to mention but a few. These fruits are produced abundantly in almost all states of the Federation and available in all Nigerian markets.

  • Shrimps

Nigeria is one of the tropical countries endowed with rich shrimp resources. With rich organic deposit arising from runoff, the Niger Delta region is the heartland of shrimp and oil production in Nigeria; having a production capacity of 12,000 metric tons (MT) per year. The major markets for the Nigerian shrimp in Europe are Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France and the USA. All are usually packaged in 2.2-kg packets into master cartons.

  • Yam

Nigeria realized N56 billion (US$380 million) from yam exports during 2008 according to figures released by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). World production of yam is 51.4 million tonnes per year out of which Nigeria accounts for an average of 36.7 million tonnes, Ghana for 3.6 million tonnes and Cote d’Ivoire for 4.8 million tonnes.

There are no specific standards for yam export, but intending exporters must seek information on the quality and phytosanitary regulations of the importing country as well as the product specifications required by the importer

Please remember, preparing for the world of international trade is a complex process. But with the proper knowledge and strategy, you’ll soon be on your way to world wide success.

Author’s Bio: Tunji Afuwape is a small business finance consultant and expert. He is the CEO of 21st Strategies. He provides “how-to” advice on small business and home-based work issues. His organization helps small businesses reach their fullest potential. You can read his full bio here and contact him also for business advice.


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