The fall of Nigeria’s paper mills, due to faulty privatisation and mismanagement, has left the country dependent on over 90% of imported paper.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that between July and December 2021, Nigeria imported paper and other related products worth N296.696bn.
There used to be three major paper mills in the country; the Nigeria Paper Mill Limited located in Jebba, Kwara State; the Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company Limited, Oku-Iboku, Akwa Ibom State; and Nigerian National Paper Manufacturing Company Limited in Ogun State.
The mills have since collapsed largely due to mismanagement, sabotage and neglect, as the current performance in the sector is quite deplorable, to say the least.
Stakeholders in the paper industry have raised concerns, while urging the government ro revive the dying sector to curb the importation of paper and paperboard, articles of pulp, paper and board at such high costs, which is invariably affecting the economy.
Chief Executive Officer of FAE Limited, Mrs Layo Bakare-Okeowo, said the paper industry was dying, and called on the government to take action towards getting enabling the sector to strive.
“We need to have a functional paper industry in Nigeria. Egypt has 25 paper mills but how can Nigeria with a bigger population have no functional paper industry.
“This is a sector that has been abandoned. Let us forget about what has happened to paper mills and focus on the crisis in the paper sector. We want the government to save this sector by providing the enabling environment,” she submitted.
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