Export financing

As an exporter ensure you get your export financing right. Keep in mind that you must fund your export contract.


Five tips for financing

  1. Seek help from bankers, financial and export experts
  2. Explore available government grants and loans
  3. Know the grants and loans available from local government areas and private parties
  4. Factoring is a funding facility to consider for increasing your cash flow
  5. Protect your export proceeds against non-payment risk through Export Credit Insurance


Money needed

Export business requires sustainable funding over a period of time. The amount of money needed for export is largely dependent on your product and export destination(s). It includes components like marketing and market access, as well as working capital (direct and indirect).


Marketing & market entry costs

Your export budget should cover all costs of marketing your products or services abroad, including the costs of market entry. The product components, requirements of the target market segment and different engagement / publicity needed to draw attention form the basis for marketing and market entry cost. Specific costs include:

  • Hiring competent staff member(s) for the export business
  • Regular visits to your targeted export destination(s)
  • Provision of samples to bring to target market


Working capital costs

Additional working capital costs are always involved during the export process. This is the amount of money needed to be available to effectively run your business. In practice, payment for the contract is received mostly after delivering all of the goods / service. Thus keep in mind you have to make additional direct costs like: raw material purchases, packaging, transportation, laboratory services, certification(s). Some of the indirect costs that should also be taken into account include: overheads, personnel, plants and equipment, building.


Payment methods

There are different payment methods available to buyers and sellers. The main options are:

  • Documentary credit (e.g. Letter of Credit)
  • Open account (e.g. advanced payment, cash against document, deferred payment)
  • Documentary collections

It is advised to always check and discuss your options for payment with a financial adviser. This is to ensure you to have the right agreements on payment in your export contract.


Funding options

There are numerous funding options available to help you finance your export business:

  • Government export incentives
  • factoring
  • loans (commercial banks / family and friends)
  • support from financial institutions


Export incentives

NEPC is administrating two incentives: Export Development Fund and Export Expansion Grant. Find out all about these incentives including its guidelines & procedures, service timelines, fees & charges and other requirements in the export incentives pages.



Factoring might be an attractive way to help your cash flow. Factoring is a financial transaction where the receivables (such as the invoice) is given to a third party, called a factor for a fee.



Other ways of funding include loans from friends and family and  commercial banks. to access bank loans you would have to write a bankable proposal. When writing a bankable proposal take into account the following steps:

  • Familiarise yourself with the responsibilities of each financial organization
  • Prepare funding request based on their priorities
  • Get a copy of their template and use it to develop your proposal
  • Formally submit your proposal


Financial institutions

Financial institutions offer a lot of funding options and are therefore a very important source of export financing. Find the main institutions for financial support  below.

Nigerian Export Import Bank

The Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) bank offers a wide range of funding options for your export business. Among these: 

  • Direct Lending Facility (DLF)
  • Export Credit Insurance Facility
  • Stocking Facility (for manufacturing exporters)
  • ECOWAS Interstate Road Transit Scheme
  • Foreign Input Facility (for manufacturing exporters)
  • Local Input Facility

Check out the NEXIM-site to investigate your options in more detail!

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

In addition to the NEPC administered export incentives, the CBN offers two interesting incentives as well:
  • Export Stimulation Fund (access through your bank)
  • Rediscounting Refinancing Facility (access through NEXIM)
Find all details of these funding options on the CBN website.