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How SME’s can digitally export their products  

As part of efforts to enable SMEs access the global market, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has given some pointers.

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PwC's MSME Survey 2020

As part of efforts to enable Small and Medium Enterprises to access the global market, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has given some pointers to SME’s on how they can export their products through digital marketing.  

The message was conveyed by the Regional Coordinator, South-West, Mr Babatunde Faleke who represented the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Mr Segun Awolowo, during a two-day workshop organised for the SME’s. 

Leveraging digital platformsAccording to Awolowo, finance is one challenge that greatly affects the ability of Nigerian SME’s to access international markets. However, with the aid of e-platforms which are made possible by the internet, SMEs can now do large-scale exports from the comfort of their homes as this method does not require huge finance. 

[READ FURTHER: How to standout in a saturated market]

In a related development, a partner at Neukleos, Olubukola Akingbade, during a recent interview with Nairametrics, highlighted some tips for SMEs to leverage digital platforms in the promotion of their businesses. See the tips below:

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  • Have a website 
  • Do videos especially on YouTube to boost your ranking 
  • Have a strong social media presence 
  • Know who you are as a brand and be deliberate when you put them out on social media. 

Awolowo added that SME’s should be effective in their approach because “having a website is not enough, but getting the right impact from the website is the important thing. If they know the right thing to do, they can attract their target customers and also track them. 

“Digital marketing also involves market segmentation, where the products are targeted at particular segments of the consuming public.” 

Nigeria SME, LAPO

Digital marketing strategist, Mr Moses Ololo, also shed light on how small business owners could use digital marketing methods to export products from Nigeria to the outside world and also get the right focus and the right clients. 

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“You have to have target consumers, people who want to buy the products. You cannot just target everybody.  You should be able to know tools to get your products to the countries that are interested in the products. 

“If you are targeting a company for instance, you have to target the procurement officer of the company. The tool you can use to get this, of course, is the social media tools LinkedIn, Facebook and others. You can search for them, get their information and send them e-mails.” 

Why this matters: As stated earlier, the financial capacity of SMEs is rather too limited to accommodate large-scale exports in Nigeria. Moreover, even if they do manage to load containers with goods, they will have to deal with the challenges that have bedeviled the Nigerian export sector for decades; including delays in getting goods to the port, cost of documentation, and Customs Tariff. This is why there is a need for digitalization. 

[ALSO READ:  Phillips Consulting to hold webinar on digital transformation]

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: FG to disburse N10 billion for local vaccine production

The Minister of Health has disclosed that Nigeria is exploring options for the licensed production of COVID-19 vaccine.

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The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has announced the sum of N10billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the daily Covid-19 briefing by the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja.

  • “The Ministry of Finance has released N10billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognised institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.”

He also warned Nigerians to ignore news about vaccines being for sale in Nigeria, as the procedures to acquire vaccines have to pass through due process.

  • I advise all citizens to disregard these claims, as they are criminal. There are procedures for vaccine acquisition and use, which include appropriate regulations and certification by National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
  • “I advise against fake vaccines, as there is no one approved for use in the country. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is the only authorised vaccine administrator in Nigeria.”

He also stated that as Nigeria is experiencing the second wave, the FG needs to change its response procedures through infection mitigations and vaccines.

  • “There is no doubting the fact that we are deeply into the second wave of the pandemic which requires that PTF and FMoH review our strategies to respond to the challenge. The Federal Ministry of Health has outlined three approaches to confront the pandemic – Infection mitigation, Therapeutics and Vaccines.”

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Health Minister announced Nigeria’s plans to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 112,004 confirmed cases.

On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 112,004 cases have been confirmed, 89,939 cases have been discharged and 1,449 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.17 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.15 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th January 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 112,004
  • Total Number Discharged – 89,939
  • Total Deaths – 1,449
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,172,234

According to the NCDC, the 1,617 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (776), Kaduna (147) Kwara (131), FCT (102), Plateau (78), Edo (59), Ogun (53), Osun (45), Rivers (37), Taraba (36), Nasarawa (34), Adamawa (33), Kano (26), Delta (20), Ebonyi (16), Bayelsa (11), Gombe(11) and Borno (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,400, followed by Abuja (14,700), Plateau (6,831), Kaduna (6,325),  Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,429), Edo (3,320), Ogun (2,912), Kano (2,617), Delta (2,122), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,583), Gombe (1,500), Nasarawa (1,335), Ebonyi (1,275), Osun (1,260),  Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).

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Borno State has recorded 867 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (294), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169),  Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

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On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Around the World

US Capitol complex temporarily shut down

The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby.

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The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily for about an hour on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby, highlighting the security concerns that are being raised days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The security concerns and the lockdown follows the January 6 attack on the US Capital by supporters of the outgoing US President, Donald Trump, after his encouragement and inciting comments, calling the Presidential election a fraud without any proof of evidence.

READ: President Trump says he won’t attend Joe Biden’s inauguration

Some of them even called for the death of the US Vice President, Mike Pence for presiding over the certification of Joe Biden’s November election victory.

While making the disclosure in a statement, the Capitol Police said that the lockdown has been lifted and the nearby fire contained.

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The Acting Chief of the Capitol Police had said that the complex which comprises of the Capitol, its grounds and several buildings were shut down as a precautionary measure.

READ: US Supreme court dismisses Texas bid to overturn presidential election results

The US Secret Service in a tweet post on its official Twitter handle said, “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.’’

The city’s fire department in its tweet post said that firefighters put out a fire outside near the Capitol complex.

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The fire department said, “There were no injuries. This accounts for smoke that many have seen.”

READ: Huawei accuses the United States of hacking

What you should know

  • President-elect, Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in at the US Capitol on Wednesday amid an unprecedented cordon of security, with strict physical distancing measures in place due to threats of violent attacks in Washington and the rising cases of coronavirus infections.
  • Donald Trump, who is just fresh from a historic second impeachment from the congress had said he would not attend, although his deputy, Vice President Mike Pence, had given an indication that he would attend.

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