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  • Case Study

Diversifying Nigeria’s Economy via Export Skills and Quality Infrastructure

Maximising international trade by training exporters in standards and certifications and strengthening national quality infrastructure.


“The government and private sector will be able to set up quality testing centres, such that approved goods would be of international standard.” 

Niyi Adebayo The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment
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Boosting Trade

Building skills to encourage investment and improve the business climate

With $26bn expected to be wiped from Nigeria's main export commodity, oil, the government needed to diversify the national economy.

Nigeria has increased international demand for its manufacturing, services and agriculture outputs, by training small and medium sized enterprises in export standards for the UK and EU, and developing a respected quality accreditation system.

The Challenge

Overcoming Nigeria's quality issues to diversify and strengthen their economy

The Nigerian government wanted to make organisations more competitive to improve their economy and strengthen their presence as trusted trading partners across the globe.

Limited capacity to meet technical standards and quality requirements meant Nigerian SMEs faced challenges accessing international markets.

With the value of oil exports set to tumble, it was vital to close the skills gap and create a strong national quality infrastructure with the capacity to improve goods and services and remove barriers to international trade.

Success would mean rebalancing the economy through more growth in the manufacturing and services sectors, and reviving agriculture.

The Solution

A stronger quality infrastructure, and training for a new generation of leaders

Driving international trade for Nigeria by boosting confidence in quality

Experts from BSI’s International Projects (IP) team were brought in to launch a National Quality Infrastructure Graduate Fellowship Program (NQI-GF), to transform the skill base of Nigeria’s quality infrastructure system and develop its future leaders.

In collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), BSI also provided a programme of technical but interactive training for SME exporters, covering international export requirements, standards and certification measures for exports to UK and EU markets.

Improved talent pipeline and a more resilient economy

Our two projects have strengthened Nigeria’s quality infrastructure, developing Nigeria’s future leaders and helping businesses to increase exports.

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  • down arrow

    Stimulated growth through international best practices for agriculture, manufacturing and services

  • home

    Created job opportunities for young Nigerians, reducing unemployment and promoting prosperity

  • plus

    Engaged 31 SMEs with training in key export principles and standards.

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    Provided key talent with in-depth knowledge about quality infrastructure's role in trade and export

The impact

There are 41 million SMEs in Nigeria, for whom it's vital to access the billions of pounds in annual trade with markets such as the UK.

  • 40%

    of SMEs reached in the programme were women owned

  • £5.1 billion

    worth of total trade in goods and services between UK and Nigeria (year to June 2019)


“The training and programme […] has equipped me with skills and knowledge to impact the people and the environment at large.” 

Delegate National Quality Infrastructure Graduate Fellowship Program
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Experts in unlocking prosperity and boosting competitiveness

For over 20 years, BSI’s International Projects (IP) team has been helping governments improve trade policy-making, unlock prosperity and boost private sector competitiveness.

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