Prospects for Post COVID-19 Era Optimisation of the Forest Products Industry in Nigeria

Ogunwusi A. A., Ibrahim H. D.


COVID-19 pandemic has taught nations a number of lessons..  The lockdown by nations to slow the spread of the disease created a demand and supply shocks that led to drop in international trade and investment flows of 30% to 40% respectively.  Nigeria is not immune from this development. The country also depends on importation of secondary raw materials for its industries.  As a result of acute deforestation, the economic wood species in Nigeria have reduced significantly forcing the forest industries to rely on importation of raw materials such as Plywood, Medium and High Density Fibreboards, 0 OSR boards and a host of others as most of the particleboard and plymills have closed operation as a result of unavailability of prime wood species.  The near absolute dependence on these raw materials led to disruption in the operation of the forest industries as a result of the lockdown in international trade occasioned by the CODID-19 pandemic.  Production of most items in the sector has reduced significantly.  For instance the sawmills operated at 28% of its installed capacity while the plymills and particleboard mills operated at below12% and capacity utilisation respectively.This development necessitates the need for adequate plans to be made for the post COVID-19 era optimisation of the forest industries in Nigeria.  This can only be achieved through initiation of policy that will enthrone Public-Private-Sector-Partnership in sustainable production of industrial raw materials, most especially, roundwood in the country.  The total availability of roundwood of 30cm in diameter and above is less than 300,000,000m3.  Thus, Nigeria may run out of industrial roundwood in the next 5 years.  As a result, Nigeria must enthrone adequate policies to ensure sustenance of its ndustries most especially, those that have to do with industrial roundwood and wood based panels production.  Also adequate policy is required to promote programmes such as wood reuse, environmental planting, development and industrial utilisation of bamboo, formation of forest industry clusters and wood products certification.

Keywords: Roundwood, clusters, plywood, certification, wood reclamation.

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-16-16

Publication date:August 31st 2020


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