By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone – Not less than $900 million is spent by Nigerians to import ceramic products yearly as the country has very few local production capacity.
Professor Patrick Oaikhinan, the foremost professor of Ceramics Engineering and Technology in Nigeria divulged. Oaikhinan – the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EPINA Technologies Limited, according to New Telegraph, explained while Nigeria imports more of ceramic products worth $900 million every year, it exports a meagre quantity worth less than $80,000.
He noted that, the ones produced in Nigeria, that comprise the nation’s $80,000 export, are even those produced by foreigners who were doing business in Nigeria. He remarked that, Nigeria was disbursing about $800 million on the importation of ceramic products up till 2010, but the importation had been wobbling since then. He said, nevertheless, it picked up and has risen to about $900 million since 2019, expanding that, the nation spent $365 million on tiles importation alone.
“These are what we can calculate officially. If we add those ones that are smuggled into the country, we will know that the country is losing huge amount of money in foreign exchange.
“Those people who smuggle aren’t taken into consideration, only the records – the paper value – and so it’s definitely more than that because people bring in from Cotonou and Cameroon and these aren’t calculated,” he added.
The ceramics technologist said, Nigeria required to renew its Ceramics Sector to improve and prosper its economy, revealing that all aspects of development in other sectors swirl round ceramics. According to him, “Nigeria’s economy cannot grow without ceramics. Look at it this way.
Even in the medical Sector as well. “Ceramics play a key role in every sector in the economy. Being in an hotel here right now, you know that you’ll eat and drink with ceramics and when you want to use the restroom, you won’t wish to leave because of the ceramic sanitary wares (toilets, wash-hand basins, tiles, etc.).
So, without ceramics, the economy can’t move forward. “Unfortunately, we spend not less than $900 million on ceramics importation annually with mainly 61% of that amount coming from India, and the rest from Spain, Austria, Italy and South Africa.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent