The Jos-based NASCO Group of Companies have secured an approval to export 19 products under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), its marketing consultant, Mr Haroun Audu, said in Jos on Thursday.
“We have ECOWAS’ approval to export 19 products; it is a major breakthrough in Nigeria’s search for a favourable balance of trade,” Audu told journalists.
According to Audu, the firm applied for 19 products and all of them met the standards for which NASCO has collected “open-ended certificates from ETLS” to export.
He said that the certification, which was NASCO’s first-ever ETLS certificate, had no expiry date.
Audu, who said that most of the products were household items, listed some of them to include cornflakes, frostyz, strawberry, shortcake biscuits, crackers and brytex detergent.
Others included Plus lemon dish washing soap and beauty ocean hand wash.
“With this approval, NASCO is free to export the products to West African countries without any hindrance; we expect this development to boost our production capacity and shore up Nigeria’s balance of trade.”
He said that ECOWAS’ rule of origin stipulating that that the exported products must be wholly produced within the sub-region and must possess at least 60 per cent of its total quantity of raw materials originating from within the region had been met.
Audu said that the ETLS certification had the advantage of enabling exporters access loans and grants from the Federal Government and other multilateral agencies.
“The loans and grants are however available only as spelt out by the central bank and other quasi financial institutions,” he said.
He said that qualified and certified entities would also enjoy participation in international trade fairs within the sub-region at government’s expense through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Audu recalled that the company, established in 1963, was the first to support the agro-based economy in Nigeria.
“NASCO Group as at then, produced jute bags for the exportation of Nigerian agricultural products.
“We also played a major role in enhancing economic growth by sourcing our raw materials locally thereby empowering host communities,” he said. (NAN)