Exporters eye $158bn market as FG lifts charcoal ban


The Federal Government has announced the conditional lifting of the ban on charcoal and processed wood export in a bid to revamp businesses and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

In a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Ndubueze Okeke, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, disclosed this in Abuja at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the review of the ban on charcoal, processed wood and other allied products export.

With the latest development, the ministry claimed that exporters were jostling to get a share of the market for the products said to be worth $158.35bn.

Abdullahi was quoted to have said, “The ministry has observed that many businesses have been unintentionally affected, especially those converting waste to wealth for export. As a responsible government, we would not be rigid in our policies, and will always listen to citizens on how these policies affect them.

“After careful deliberations, I hereby pronounce the conditional lifting of ban/suspension on the export of charcoal and processed wood respectively.”

However, he reiterated that the government’s decision was an opportunity for private sectors and individuals to invest in plantation establishments for future utilisation.

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.

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 maximise the opportunities presented with the recent development.

The ban was imposed in 2018 and 2020.

The United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Poland are destination markets for Nigeria’s charcoal export.

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