The Federal Government of Nigeria has conditionally lifted the ban on charcoal and processed wood export in a bid to revamp businesses, especially those converting waste to wealth and thereby increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
The Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi disclosed this in Abuja at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on the Review of the Ban on Charcoal and Suspension of Processed Wood and Other Allied products.
With the latest development, reports disclose that exporters are currently jostling to get a chunk of the market for both products with processed wood said to be worth $ 152.94 billion while charcoal is reportedly valued at $ 5.41 billion respectively for the year 2023.
According to the Minister, “The Ministry has observed that many businesses have been unintentionally affected especially those converting waste to wealth for export by the ban. As a responsible government, we would not be rigid in our policies, and will always listen to citizens on how these policies affect them”.
However, he reiterated that the government’s decision is an opportunity for private sectors and individuals to massively invest in plantations establishment for future utilization. The Minister also cautioned operators in the industry to adhere to the Nigeria Timber Legality Standards and Guideline for Wood and Charcoal Export to avoid prosecution as the decision to lift the ban could be revisited by failure to comply with the laid down rules and regulations.
Speaking on the matter, the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak commended the government for lifting the suspension on the export of both commodities but warned exporters to play by the rule if they intend to maximize the opportunities presented with the recent development.