The decline in Nigeria’s raw material exports by N285 billion on a year-on-year basis can be attributed to the government’s neglect of the productive sector, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has declared.
An analysis of Foreign Trade Statistics published by the National Bureau of Statistics showed raw materials exports fell to N345.5bn in the first half of 2023, compared to N630.5bn in the same period in the prior year.
A breakdown of the H1 2023 figure indicated that the country shipped out N200bn worth of raw materials in Q1 and N145bn in Q2, instead of N259.4bn in Q1 and N371.10bn in Q2 2022.
During this period, urea whether or not the aqueous solution was exported to the United States as well as nonmonetary gold (including gold-plated with platinum) in powder form exported to Switzerland.
Other items that dominated the export list were cocoa shells, husks, skins and other cocoa waste to Indonesia and gold unwrought or in semi-mfr. forms, or in powder form exported to Switzerland.
In a recent interview, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Francis Meshioye, blamed high production costs as being responsible for the country’s declining exports.
According to him, local manufacturers cannot be competitive in terms of price with manufacturers from other countries who produce at lower costs.
Meshioye said, “We will tell our members to do more, but all these things are based on competitive advantages. If you want to export a product, it is fine, but at what cost are you going to export it?
“What will be your price? If the cost is astronomically high, it will be difficult to export. It is a circle. Of course, the export base should be good enough to support the floated exchange rate, but we need to have a good economic base to do that.”