Export ban on charcoal affecting foreign currency – Stakeholders – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
The National Charcoal Exporters Union has expressed concern over the continued ban on the export of charcoal, saying the export of charcoal is a major contributor to the Nigerian economy.
This was the bone of contention at the meeting called by the union in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.
According to the director of the Commodities and Exports Department of the Ministry Suleiman Audi, the export of charcoal has been a major contributor to the Nigerian economy.
Audu, represented by Mr. Jude Amalunweze, Head of Unit at the Ministry, said Nigeria is the second largest exporter of charcoal in the world and the largest in Africa.
He regretted that the export of charcoal, which recorded global revenues of $ 24.2 billion in 2018 and was one of Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange, declined due to its suspension and deforestation. .
He argued that Nigeria can still generate foreign exchange and create jobs from the export of the commodity if adequate measures are put in place to address the challenges and negative impacts.
âIn 2020, Brazil, Nigeria and Ethiopia produced 6.3, 4.8 and 4.7 million metric tonnes, respectively, and share 29% of global production.
âNigeria took the 2nd position as the world’s largest exporter with $ 75.7 million in 2019,â he said.
Audu said the stakeholder meeting in the charcoal sector therefore aimed to highlight the need for an aggressive afforestation program that would address the challenges negatively affecting the sub-sector.
“The ministry is fully committed to providing an enabling environment to position the charcoal trade to be competitive, both locally and in the international market,” added Audu.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Babatunde Edu, interim president of the union, called on the federal government to lift the ban on charcoal exports.
Edu said charcoal played a major role in the country’s economic growth, adding that stakeholders in the sub-sector, including exporters, traders, transporters and investors, were all affected by the ban on exports.
âThe government’s ban on the export of charcoal is understandable; charcoal is produced from wood and other things.
âThe government felt that the export of charcoal was destroying the forest, hence the ban. However, we call on the government to lift the ban. Nigeria is the largest consumer of charcoal in Africa; the ban affects both local users and exporters, âhe said.