The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has identified poor packaging and labelling as the major challenges facing Nigerian products exported overseas, especially products to the United States.
The Director, Business Development at the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council [NIPC], Mr. William Eze in his keynote speech at the 2019 Packaging, Plastics, Food processing, labelling and print exhibition in West Africa organised by Propak West Africa in Lagos recently said some made -in -Nigeria products are faced with poor packaging which results in rejection.
“A recent report says that 30 percent of our (Nigeria) exports to US are rejected as a result of poor packaging and labelling, not quality of the products.”.
He went on to say that, “packaging has been in the forefront of product development as well as marketing efforts, packaging and branding has been critical marketing tools both in domestic and export market, wherefore this has underlined the reason manufacturers, producers, medium and small micro enterprises (MSMEs) attend this event, we are in consumerism era, where consumers determine the market trend; otherwise known as consumer marketing. This has however heightened the rise in social media and internet marketing.”
Speaking further, he stated, ”the problem of packaging in Nigeria today is complex, because innovation keeps on changing due to the market trend of consumer demand and behaviour.” Continuing, “We must also follow the business squarely as SMEs or producers. Some made in Nigeria products are faced with poor packaging which results in rejection. A recent report says that 30 percent of our exports to US are rejected as a result of poor packaging and labelling, not quality of the products.”
“In order words we have to see this exhibition to be very key to our SMEs, producers and entrepreneurs. The topic of the exhibition ‘Environmental Sustainability’ is a critical theme in our country and globally. The supply value chain must be able to meet the demand for the products, the packaging system, he added.
Speaking, Regional Director, Afrocet Montegomery, parent company to Propak, George Pearson said this year has seen the Nigerian national and state elections which always have a challenging effect on the business environment, while overall growth in Nigeria has been flat these past 12 months.
It will be recalled that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control [NAFDAC] has also blamed poor packaging and ignorance of requirement of export goods by Nigeria exporters for the rejection of semi finished products from Nigeria in international market.
A top Director at the regulatory agency who pleaded anonymity, said it is ironical in this age of information technology that most Nigerian exporters in the SME category lacked access to necessary information and other global interactive networking tools that will otherwise position them at advantage in the ever competitive global market.
The Director regretted that regulated products from Nigeria have great potentials in the international market only when strategically positioned. Noting that quality is the bottomline in the international market, he said rejection of food commodities of Nigerian origin on the grounds of poor quality and packaging manifest display of ignorance adding that, “it is embarrassing”.
This lack of quality packaging and labelling must have been one of the reasons that prompted Jaro industries to commission a N43billion carton factory recently in Ogun state last month.
The factory which is on a 28 acre of land in OPIC’s new Mkun industrial city, is equipped with state of the art facilities that meets international standards.
There is no doubt, that this new corrugated fibreboard carton manufacturing company will bring a positive difference in the packaging, labelling industry and help in addressing the rejection challenges facing our exports.