Stories by Charles Nwaoguji
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI has said that lack of access to foreign exchange last year contributed largely to poor performance of the real sector, which almost derailed the vision of making Nigeria industrial hub.
The Chamber observed that though the sector benefitted from the inward-looking agenda which the recession created but the sector grappled with challenges that constrained its growth during the year.
According to its Director General, Muda Yusuf, acute scarcity of parent stock for Turkey severely constrained the capacity of poultry owners to expand the production of live turkey.
In his 2017 review, Yusuf said vaccines and micro nutrients for the production of fishmeal and other livestock feeds was very exorbitant and this, he said, contributed to the high cost of poultry products while some manufacturing section was short down.
“The situation was further compounded by the Nigeria Customs Service that classified micro nutrients for the production of poultry feed as finished goods, rather than raw materials. Investors in the sector could not access foreign exchange at the official rate of N305 to the dollar.
“Multiple government agencies still pose problems for importers of agricultural inputs and manufacturing tools at Lagos ports,” he noted.
Yusuf further said that farm machinery and equipment as well as agro-chemicals were not accessible by many farmers during the year as costs were prohibitive, and the expected support from the government (state and federal) was not forthcoming and interest rate on loans for manufacturing purposes was also prohibitive at between 25-30 per cent.