…as Nigeria taps only 10% potential
A traders’ outfit, Value Chain Traders Organization of Nigeria (VACTION), has urged Nigeria to expand into establishing more petrochemical plants as a way to extend revenue takings rather than continued reliance on the age-old crude oil economy, which has also come with much pressure and hiccups.
According to VACTON national president, Ralph John, petrochemicals and fertilizers plants have the tendency to generate several thousands of jobs, with attendant multiple revenue lines from domestic consumption and incomes from exports.
To date, Nigeria has only one petrochemical plant, the Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals at Eleme (IEPL), near Port Harcourt, with $2.1 billion investment.
In an interview in 2017, Manish Mundra the managing director of IEPL informed that Nigeria’s petrochemicals market was worth over $20 billion.
Meanwhile, a report in 2015 said Nigeria was losing N2 trillion annually to imports due to failure by the nation to develop petrochemical plants; as manufacturing companies are importing about 80 per cent of their raw materials worth over $10 billion.
In the area of fertilizer, Nigeria would be producing up to 4 million metric tonnes per annum from 2021 when Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals’ two plants of 3MMT, Dangote Fertilizer, and Notore Fertilizer and Chemicals come on stream. Both plants are already being described by analysts as potential ground shifters for the way fertilizer trade is organised in Nigeria between 2019 and 2021 when the plants are expected to fully kick into gear their full production capacities.
VACTON boss, John told business a.m. in an interview in Port Harcourt that their organization, which would operate mainly as non-profit outfit, has a set goal to redefine manufacturing, export-import and trading business in Nigeria. “Our aim is to rid corrupt practices from among business operators,” he said.
John said VACTON was established to assist agencies in the country to properly carry out their regulatory functions; get attentions shifted to long neglected areas like cassava ethanol, waste reboosting and recycling and resold to industries. These new fields would generate vast employment opportunities, he said.
A maritime expert, Ralph John said they would be operating mainly through their six strategic committees like: “trade economic and statistical planning; political, strategic and policy; special assignment; ethics and arbitration; finance; contact and mobilization.” They would run by seasoned experts and technocrats.
The VACTON national president said they have set up various departments such as: Investment and Trade, which would engage in investment and trade; Trade and Statistical to engage in data gathering; the Political department would be analysing government policies to come out with informed commentaries. The Ethics and arbitration department would deal with issues of infraction, while the Finance arm would handle levies, freewill donations and grants from international and local donor agencies, and lawful investments.
Recall that VACTON has aims and objectives to: promote and educate Nigerians in trade policies, agencies and multilateral organizations; champion measures to promote global value-chain in the ECOWAS common industry policy; encourage trade education to suit international trade compliance, and provide information concerning government regulations with the aim of avoiding unnecessary clashes between government and stakeholders.