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28.04.2004 Business & Finance

ExportMarket: Ghana Leads Nigeria

By Cletus Akwaya in Abuja
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Industries in Ghana and Tanzania, relatively smaller economies have been rated 15 per cent higher than their Nigerian counterparts in the capacity to enter and compete in export market, a study by the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) has said.

This is in spite of numerous Nigerian Government efforts aimed at protecting local industries as in education of high tariffs on goods produced locally, partial ban and in some cases outright prohibition of imports of products where Nigeria has local competency to produce.

The study carried out by a select team of experts and sponsored by UNIDO in 2002 focused on the manufacturing sector especially with the competitiveness of the Nigerian industry in order to arrive at measures required to establish competitive industrial structures in the country.

Minister of Industry, Ambassador Magaji Mohammed in a keynote address at the opening of a two-day Industrial policy forum regretted that Nigerian industries were slidding down in all the scales of assessment in almost all the industrial sub-sectors a situation he described as unfortunate.

"When it is generally agreed that exposure to international competitive pressures stimulates higher productive growth, Nigerian firms at the moment are more oriented towards the domestic market and therefore tend to be rater static," the Minister observed.

The minister noted that the manufacturing sector globally was seen as the engine room of the economic growth process, a catalyst for modernisation, a generator of employment and a facilitator of positive spillover effects on the economies and peoples.