Building a new Portal: the Nigerian perspective
Globally Cool experts Lars & Onno worked extensively together with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) during recent months. The mission was clear: develop a new Trade Information Portal. After hard work, part one of the program is finished: the Exporter Portal is up and running. How did NEPC experience the project so far? We asked NEPCs Portal-team manager Estelle Igwe and team member Moboni Luguja.
Learning, learning, learning
Moboni: “Our skills and knowledge grew enormously during this program. From web writing skills to basic website programming (getting to know WordPress). For myself, creating market reports was one of the most enjoyable and insightful things to do. We know how to use different market analysis tools in analysing market potential for Nigerian products now. But at least as important: we learned how to present this properly to exporters. Both by developing one-pager reports and via video animations!”
Teamwork creating collaborative spirit
Moboni: “I have been working in the council for over six years, but especially during this program I learned a lot from other teams. Since the first day we had to really work together as a team. Involving people from all different departments.”
Estelle completely agrees and adds: “I appreciated the fact there was need for collaboration and working as a team. It is always mentioned that we are a team, but during the Portal development we actually really did work together as one full team. This contributed hugely to the success of our new Trade Information Portal.”
She goes on: “As head of a department this was one of my most important lessons. We will definitely carry this along in our future activities. Cooperation creates so many additional values. And we can get it from internal resources, simply by exchanging ideas and knowledge between our people in a better way.”
Some first (class) results
Moboni: “There are a lot of requests coming in since the Exporter Portal has been launched. Exporters already are so much more eager to do everything the right way now. The new Exporter Portal really opened their eyes to the full export process. This portal is (among others) creating full awareness about how to do formal exports in our country.”
Estelle: “Definitely. For example, we see an increase in requests from exporters to register under the AGOA trade agreement since the new portal is online. At a recent Lagos program a lot of garment exporters were not completely aware of the rules and regulations of the trade agreement. But now we have the trade facilitation pages including Nigerian trade agreements. This provides Nigerian exporters with new knowledge. We hope and believe it will help them to fully benefit from trade agreements like AGOA.”
Estelle continues: “Another example during our recent Lagos program. One cocoa exporter thought export potential was largest in United Kingdom. After checking our promising market reports for cocoa, he was surprised and enlightened. It gave him a lot of new insights with respect to promising markets. Now, he will be drafting a new export strategy.”
Want to learn more? Check out the NEPC Exporter Portal for yourself!