The export of made-in-Nigeria products in the West African sub-region has become less competitive according to the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed. He made this remark in a statement seen by Nairametrics.
According to Ahmed, MAN members are losing market share daily to other African countries due to the closure of the border, as the sub-region has now become less competitive.
“Major manufacturers of beverages, polypropylene bags, tobacco, cement, toiletries, and cosmetics industries were losing markets they had worked very hard to secure in the West and Central African region.
“These manufacturers were hoping to leverage their market share to secure a strong position in the African Continental Free Trade Area, which kicks off in January 2021.
“Since the closure, the association has conducted a research with its members, the outcome is that some sectors had considerable increase in their productivity, while some sectors recorded sharp decline.”
He emphasized that the export group of the association clearly suffered huge losses due to logistics issues occasioned by the closure, as it takes an average of 8 weeks for the carriers to ship and truck goods within countries in the same region vis-à-vis trucking through the land border, which takes an average of 7 to 10 days.
“The increased traffic through our seaport as a result of the closure has increased the perennial congestion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, leading to greater challenges for exporters and increased demurrage cost, as well as other port levies,” he added.
What it means
Nigeria’s President Buhari recently signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement exposing local Nigerian manufacturers to the regional competition.
- Whilst border closures impact positively on local markets due to restrictions on imports, it is unhealthy for local businesses looking to export across borders to regional African countries.
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