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Nigeria, Africa’s largest charcoal producer

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By Mercy Kelani

Afforestation & reforestation are key to sustain this resource sub-sector.

At a stakeholders consultative meeting with government agencies the National Association of Charcoal Producers, Dealers, Exporters and Afforestation of Nigeria (NACPDEAN) and stakeholders stated that sustenance of the sub-sector requires consistent afforestation and reforestation. This assertion was made because the stakeholders agree that the contribution of the sub-sector to the diversification drive of the economy should be increased, ranging from oil to non-oil exports. The event was themed “Sustainable Afforestation and Reforestation for Nigeria’s Posterity.”

The event, according to the National President of NACPDEAN, Mr. Babatunde Edu, was set up to help the sub-sector retain its position as one of the drivers of the country’s economy. Another reason for organization of the event was for facilitation of aggressive planting of trees and production of domestic and industrial charcoal through converted wastes. Discussions at the meeting is projected to introduce the country to local and foreign investors in afforestation and reforestation fields.

Nigeria is the largest country in Africa for production.

Asides attraction of investors, deliberations at the meeting aims at boosting entrepreneurial development and self reliance. The global market was estimated in 2021 as $6.05 billion; in 2020, $5.98 billion; while the market size is valued to a 2028 estimation of $8.09 billion. Currently, Nigeria fills the position of the largest producer of charcoal in Africa and second largest producer in the world. In 2020, Brazil, Nigeria and Ethiopia shared 29 percent of the global production with each country producing 6.3 million tonnes, 4.8 million tonnes and 4.7 million tonnes respectively.

According to the World Bank, in 2020, the global review of economic indicator showed that Indonesia, China, Poland, Nigeria and Ukraine were regarded as the largest exporters of charcoal across the world with respective export earnings of $289 million, $153 million, $90.8 million, $75.7 million and $74.7 million each. Sustainability of this rank by establishing more private forest estates and intentional afforestation programmes would contribute to improvement of the country’s economic growth. The association’s commitment to tree planting is because this act is considered as keys to forestry and charcoal business.

NACPDEAN to ensure strict measures against illegal logging.

In the United States of America and China, development and promotion of wood charcoal sub-sector is encouraged for its benefits in medicine and cosmetics industries and household. NACPDEAN is focused on fully embarking on Agri-silviculture — integration of trees and crops, creating industrial alternative forms made from shafts and waste for economic growth and development, and establishing more private indigenous. Steps are also being taken to regulate the sub-sector and eliminate illegitimate production and trade of charcoal.

Additionally, the meeting included an engagement of stakeholders on the need for the National Association’s Compliance Requirement for every stakeholder on the value chain to enable replacement of trees that were cut for exportation through aggressive afforestation and reforestation projects. The Minister of Environment, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, commended the timeliness of the event after the lift of the ban on exportation of charcoal, processed wood and others. He added that there have been cases of illegal logging and exportation through illegal routes; however, there are regulations that now address these issues.

NACPDEAN has support of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.

Represented by Dr. Peter Bagudu, a Deputy Director, the Minister said that some of the strict measures include Review of Guidelines on Exportation of Processed Wood, Charcoal, and other Allied Products; Nigeria Timber Legality Standards; Constitution of the Inter-Ministerial Joint Task Force on illegal forest activities. Assistant Director of Commodities and Export Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Jude Amalunweze, assured NACPDEAN of the ministry’s support to ensure an enabling environment for the sub-sector.

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