Local Sourcing Push: Feds Urged to Ban Imports of Locally Available Raw Materials

Local Sourcing Push: Feds Urged to Ban Imports of Locally Available Raw Materials.

Former director general/CEO of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Dr Abdullahi Aliyu has called on the government to ban the importation of all raw materials that can be sourced locally.
This is as the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCIMMA) and the RMRDC restated the need to harness the full potential of local content drive in the raw material value chain across the 36 states and FCT.

The move is apt to deepen sustainable economic growth with the allocation of raw material resources along the state levels while ensuring the need to address the availability of industrial raw material resources in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector to bolster local content drive for players in the manufacturing sector to improve the economy.
This is as the sectoral group produced a document to know the availability of industrial raw material resources across the 36 states in the country and the FCT with the view of strengthening local content drive to leverage the aspirations and growth of the industrial sector.

The RMRDC produced a document titled, Raw Material Resources in Nigeria on Local Government Basis. The document is attached as an annexure which summarised the two categories of raw material resources in various establishments in the manufacturing sector namely the agro-based raw materials and the mineral based raw materials.
The sector, however, looked at the performances of the manufacturing sector from the 1980s to Date and then concluded with suggestions on the way forward for Nigeria to attain sustainability and economic recovery.

Speaking at the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair Seminar with the theme, ‘’Sustainable Economic Recovery through Deepening of Local Content Value Chain, Aliyu said that Nigeria is a country blessed with abundant human and material resources, but most of them are not yet being effectively and economically harnessed for the development of this country and hence the relevance of today’s seminar theme.
He noted that the Manufacturing Sector in Nigeria is in a very serious crisis, with industries closing down at alarming rates, resulting in the loss of jobs and employment opportunities.
According to the RMRDC Techno-Economic Survey reports, between 1980s and 2020, more than 2,000 major industries and over 10,000 small-scale industries have closed down in Nigeria due to the poor or harsh economic conditions in the country. For those industries that managed to survive, the current average capacity utilisation of these industries ranged between 10 per cent and 20 per cent only.

“Industrially, the Manufacturing Sector in Nigeria is decaying and the situation is getting more critical and uglier. The government needs to move urgently to address the situation through a number of strategies.”
Aliyu explained that raw materials that include: gypsum, limestone, marble, silica sand, kaolin, ball clay, bentonite, crushed rocks and barite should be stopped from importing into the country, saying that the federal government should support and encourage the private sector to invest in and develop these resources.

He recommended that “for those raw materials that can be partially sourced locally, efforts should be made by the federal government and the private sector to step up the level of development and production. Such raw materials include: diatomite, zircon sand, sulphur, phosphate, potash salt, fluorite, bauxite and sillimanite.”
On the rising price of cement in the country, he stated that “in 1995, RMRDC made a presentation to the federal government on cement production in Nigeria. The major raw materials required in cement production are limestone and gypsum.

“We recommended to the federal government that these raw materials, limestone and gypsum are available in Nigeria. The cement companies import gypsum. The government accepted RMRDC’s recommendation and then the importation of gypsum was banned. Unfortunately, gypsum is now imported. It is the high cost of imported gypsum that is causing the high cost of cement.”

He noted that the administration of President Bola Tinubu announced in June, 2023 the energisation of the Manufacturing Sector with a sum of N125 billion as part of its efforts to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal, stating that that the allocation is too meagre and there is need to invite the private sector to deliberate on the issues and agree on the way forward.

According to him, it is very important to note that the effect and destruction caused by the industrial closures and diminishing performance are greater than the destruction caused by the combined effect caused by Boko Haram and banditry in Nigeria.
“The federal government needs to do more in the areas of addressing the menace of insecurity and industrial development if the country is to survive.



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