Nigeria is one of the biggest African countries with a population of 185 million people. So many people increase the level of demand for certain goods in Nigeria, and this offers a lot of new opportunities for importers and foreign exporters. Among the list of goods that Nigeria imports, sugar tends to be one of the main priorities. And sugar imports tend to keep growing from year to year due to the high demand but also the increased number of foreign exporters that want to break into the Nigerian market. If you are considering to import sugar into Nigeria, here is what you need to know about this market and the opportunities that it offers!
First of all, importing sugar into Nigeria is similar to importing any other type of goods when it comes to basic regulations. However, there are also specifics that need to be taken into consideration such as quantity, quality, and price. If you are familiar with the import-export process when it comes to Nigeria, you shouldn’t have issues adapting it to your sugar import. The list of imported goods in Nigeria is wide, and it can be inviting for many importers and exporters which is why the competition is a sharp one.
However, if you are a beginner in the matter, there are some steps that you need to be aware of before seeing your products in the local stores :
1. Research the local market
To gather knowledge when it comes to trading on Nigerian market, you have to research more aspects of it, including the Nigerian economy. It will help you stay informed about the potential opportunities that such a developed market offers you but also with the requirements needed to be successful. During such research, you will not only see the importance of sugar on the Nigerian market but also the type of sugar that you can import. Nigerians prefer white sugar instead of brown sugar even if you can’t fail with either of these two types of sugar.
In Nigerian stores, you will discover sugar sold as a powder or grinded or even as cubes, and it comes in a variety of wrappings and styles. In average, Nigeria invests around 100 million USD in sugar imports, and sometimes the trading process beats this number. Not only is sugar important for personal consumptions of Nigerian people but also for different producers of sweets and other goods that require sugar as part of the recipe.
Most likely, you will be able to import sugar to supply the demand of certain goods producers such as chocolate or other sweets, which will improve your import business significantly. All these opportunities can be identified through research and get in touch with key contacts in local industries that are important for your business.
2. Put your paperwork together
The legal aspect is quite important especially when you import sugar into Nigeria. All African countries tend to have a developed bureaucratic system which might be a problem for small import-export businesses. A Nigeria import and export data is stored into the system of local authorities, and it is used as a reference for further changes that might be made.
As a sugar importer, you will need to obtain several papers and certificates to complete the import-export process and stay on the legal side of such a business. The main papers required for such trading are the following:
• Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) is crucial. It should be the first step to have a legal import folder. The TIN will be used in several transactions which is why nothing can happen without it.
• Choose your Authorised Dealer Bank (ADB) by deciding on a local Nigerian bank to represent your transactions. This bank should be one that manages all your international and local transactions. Also be careful when it comes to giving access to your banking information even when it comes to most trustworthy ones.
• Certificates from SON or NAFDAC are essential in case your type of sugar needs to be regulated in any kind. Most sugar importers might not need these types of certificates, but it is always a good idea to check into it before actually developing the import-export process.
• Form M on the Nigerian Trade Platform (Single Window system) is also required. To open this form, you will be requested to attach certain documents among which the insurance certificate, proforma invoice, and the product certificate. Talk to your lawyer and make sure your papers are set up correctly and you will face no obstacles in your import-export business.
The above documents will need to be submitted to the ADB to register your import trading. It is important to obtain these documents even before you start the import-export business so you avoid certain potential delays that can end up with unnecessary costs for your business. A lawyer will help you put these papers together and submit them to the local authorities before going to the next step of your import process.
Make sure to have not only all the legal papers but also the type of papers that you might need in exceptional situations. Every import-export process is different and can be quite challenging especially for beginners which is why considering every possibility might work in your favor.
Once you get used to this type of business, you will find it easier to create your folder of legal papers and develop contacts and relationships that will help you along the way.
3. Find an exporter to collaborate with
Without an exporter, you have no chance to succeed in your import export type of business. Luckily, when it comes to sugar, many foreign exporters want to break into the Nigerian market. To do so, these business people are looking for local importers to work with just like you. But without references, a certain level of trust should be gained, and this is what you have to focus on. Building up a quality brand name for your business will attract quality foreign exporters and investors like a magnet.
You can also identify potential exporters by looking at different websites and forums and expressing your need to find such a partner. The best ones will also have quality reviews and testimonials from their private clients that you can read and take into consideration.
If a foreign exporter doesn’t have a trustful website or a reliable set of reviews, the chances are that you should think twice before starting a collaboration. And when it comes to Nigeria trade, you can face a lot of frauds and scams before you create the right team to work with.
4. Decide on a shipping method
After you put together your documents and established at least one foreign exporter to collaborate with, the shipping method will be your next concern. But when you choose the way your goods will be imported you will have to consider aspects of quantity as well as the type of wrapping. When it comes to sugar, most likely you will be looking to import one tone or even several tones of it which means a massive cargo. This is the reason most sugar importers prefer to ship their products by sea and through local African ports.
But the decision on the shipment method is not entirely yours as much as your opinion matters. You, as an importer, will have to collaborate with the exporter and decide which method works best for both of your interests. You will want to minimize the risk of damaging your goods especially if you pay for the import ahead of the shipping. When the payment is made is another aspect that you will decide with your exporter to ease the entire process and consider both your benefits during the process.
5. Invest in your PR
Your PR is more important in this type of business than you might realize. Like we mentioned earlier, a good PR will bring you new business partners that can help you improve and develop your import export strategy. It means you should always invest in your brand awareness as well as your online advertising to become popular among foreign exporters and identify new business opportunities.
Without a good PR, your chances of increasing your profit through sugar imports will be low, and you might find several obstacles along the way. Therefore, invest in your image but also in your resources to build successful import-export trading based on sugar or any other good. The competition tends to be higher when it comes to such imports because sugar is considered to be a basic good found in any Nigerian kitchen.
After getting used to Nigeria custom habits and regulations, building up your PR should be one of your main concerns. And even if this means investing some funds in the PR and marketing strategy, rest assured that such investments will come back in increased amounts.
When it comes to investing in your PR strategy, there are certain things that you shouldn’t neglect if you are looking for a positive outcome. Create an attractive slogan for your business and a catchy logo that will attract attention to your brand name. After you have these two basics, you and your team should work on a marketing strategy which can involve an online strategy or an offline one. You can even have several marketing consultants to work with and implement more strategies at a time.
Why You Should Consider To Import Sugar Into Nigeria ?
The list of items that can be imported into Nigeria is ample, and it gets developed every time a demand appears. The local Nigerian market tends to adapt to international trends, and this creates changes in it especially when it comes to the type of goods that are being imported. Nigeria imports almost everything from minerals, machinery, plastic and plastic items, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, cereal, steel and iron as well as objects made of these materials to clothing and of course, sugar.
But from all these possibilities when it comes to goods, you can import why choose sugar? Because it is one of the basic goods that will always be in demand in Nigeria just like it is in demand in many countries worldwide. By developing an import-export business based on such basic goods like sugar, you can be sure to gain a constant profit and reach a new level of success for your business.
Also, importing sugar is easier than importing any other product especially because it is one of the most important goods on the local market. Plus, sugar is used equally in urban areas and rural areas which makes it popular all over Nigeria. When it comes to sugar imports, the main provider countries are China, Brazil, and India but several other countries are willing to export sugar to Nigeria as well as other African countries. As a business person, you will find a lot of opportunities on the sugar market and also the possibility to break into other Nigerian industries such as the import of sweets or other foods.
Overall, sugar remains the main ingredient for many dishes and important for every Nigerian person. This is why every importer should consider investing in this type of international trading. If you have a well-developed team that includes a lawyer, a marketing department and a good accountant among other key people to help you along the way, you have increased chances to profit from such an import-export business.
Nigeria Has A Good Export Market As Well
Nigeria is involved in many international exports as well. Its economy doesn’t rely only on imports, but it is strongly supported by the goods that are being exported from Nigeria. The export products of Nigeria are of a wide variety as well, and they include ginger, Palm Kernel Oil, textiles, cocoa, gallstone, rubber, sesame seed, honey, etc. These goods support the local economy in Nigeria and offer the government opportunities to invest in other goods that are in demand such as sugar.
Nigeria doesn’t export these goods only to other continents but also to other African countries to support their demands. If you want to develop your import export business, you can also become part of this export market. It is a great opportunity for all local importers who want to increase their profit and have a complex business.
If you start to export certain goods to different countries, you can always use the funds and income from such a business to import goods like sugar or any other type that will bring you even more profit. It might take time to master both import and export business, but by taking it step by step, you can become a successful business person and create great international trading.
Lately, Nigeria got into new types of exports as well which gives businesses even more opportunities. These export types are charcoal, garlic, cotton, cassava flour, cashew nuts, snail, chili pepper, fruit juice, cosmetics, and soap. And the Nigerian beauty market is in a continuous state of development creating different cosmetics that are appreciated by women worldwide.
You can get involved in exporting any of these goods worldwide and see your business grow along with such trading processes. And the future looks promising for different Nigerian industries considering that the country might export a lot more goods to a lot more countries.