The need for value addition hubs in all regions.
The need for Africa to rise and compete globally has become imperative post pandemic. Harnessing the potentials of local commodities has been the goal and with the newly created AFCFTA agreement, it is now a must-do; the question is, how do we go from trading commodities to trading finished goods to increase non-oil export especially for countries like Nigeria? Adding value to raw materials is the way.
Monthly data by the National bureau of statistics for Africa’s giant Nigeria shows that the country has imported finished goods to the tune of approximately N2,663million which accounts for 63% in total trade leaving an export trade deficit of -N136million for 2 consecutive times. This has also seen the increase in raw material exports and the major trade categories are Cocoa butter, sesame seed, cashew nut amongst others.
Given the above figures, it is clear that the way forward will simply be increasing our capacity of utilizing our raw materials, adding value to them and consuming them to reduce importation of finished goods.
State government’s can begin this by creating value addition hubs to incentivize local producers and create commerce/market for their produce to reduce waste, increase state revenue and improve socio economic status of citizens.
Local trade and commerce bureau’s can also do well by creating access to markets for these finished local produce, leveraging on technology as well as increasing brand visibility. The need for bogus appointments is over, it is time to do the work and it is all hands on deck to create a sustainable economy for the future.