Border closure: Manufacturers losing market share daily - PUNCH
BY Ife Ogunfuwa
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says its members are losing market share daily to other African countries due to the closure of the border.
The President, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, said export of their products in the West African sub-region had now become less competitive, a statement issued by the association on Friday stated.
In the statement entitled ‘MAN’s position on the reopening of land border closure’, Ahmed said 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.
According to him, 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,” Ahmed said.
He added, “In particular, the export group of the association clearly suffered huge losses due to logistics issues occasioned by the closure as it takes an average of eight 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 seven to 10days.
“Furthermore, the increased traffic through our sea port as a result of the closure has increased the perennial congestion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports leading to greater challenges to exporters and increased demurrages cost and other port levies.
“The implications of these are that manufacturers in Nigeria have continued to lose and are still losing market share on daily basis in the West African corridor as export of manufacturers products have now become overly less competitive.”
MAN president said a review on the status of the border closure was pertinent and in line with the core objective of the AfCFTA protocol, which was premised on liberalisation of intra-regional trade in Africa.