Nigeria’s Export Prohibition Act Hinders Agricultural Commodities Export Amid Dollar Shortages

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Nigeria’s Export Prohibition Act of 1989 is restricting the export of certain agricultural commodities, including yam, cassava, beans, maize, and rice, hindering foreign investors and development partners from investing in these value chains. The Act, initially designed to ensure local consumption, has become a bottleneck, impeding Nigeria’s capacity to tap into the global market. Stakeholders call for the repeal or amendment of the Act to allow the export of value-added products derived from these commodities, promoting economic growth, reducing post-harvest losses, and creating jobs.

Key Points:

  1. Impact of Export Prohibition Act:
    • The Export Prohibition Act of 1989 is restricting the export of agricultural commodities, limiting foreign investments and development partnerships in value chains such as yam, cassava, beans, maize, and rice.
  2. Inhibiting Foreign Investments:
    • The existence of the Act hinders foreign investors and development partners from investing across various agricultural value chains, as compliance with local laws and regulations becomes challenging.
  3. Concerns Raised by Stakeholders:
    • Stakeholders highlight instances where international organizations withdrew support due to the Export Prohibition Act. Calls are made for the repeal or amendment of the Act to facilitate business and investments in these value chains.
  4. Production Position of Nigeria:
    • Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, yam, and beans, presenting a significant competitive advantage that could be leveraged for economic impact, especially through value addition.
  5. Counterproductivity of the Act:
    • While the Act was initially designed for local consumption, it is viewed as counterproductive to Nigeria’s economic growth and development aspirations. Calls are made for a legislative framework aligned with contemporary economic realities.
  6. Need for Legislative Amendment:
    • A bill to repeal the Export Prohibition Act was sent to the House of Representatives, but no progress has been reported since the inauguration of the 9th Senate. Stakeholders emphasize the need for legislative action to support local production, boost exports, and encourage value addition.
  7. Emphasis on Boosting Local Production:
    • Calls are made for the government to prioritize boosting local production to ensure sufficient supply for both consumption and export. Attention to value addition is highlighted as crucial for the success of Nigeria’s export endeavors.

Conclusion:
The Export Prohibition Act of 1989 in Nigeria is perceived as a hindrance to the export of key agricultural commodities, leading to calls for its repeal or amendment. Stakeholders emphasize the need for legislative action to align with contemporary economic realities, promote value addition, and support the country’s economic growth and development goals. The Act’s impact on foreign investments and development partnerships underscores the urgency of addressing regulatory barriers in Nigeria’s agricultural export sector.

BD

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