Small and Medium Scale Manufacturers in Edo have decried the persistent hike in the prices of raw materials used in the production of some finished goods in the state.
Some of the manufacturers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews, in Benin, on Tuesday, attributed the hike to high cost of foreign exchange and low supply of the raw materials.
They told NAN that the hike in prices of production materials had caused increases in their cost of production, reduced output, increased prices of finished goods, as well as reduced patronage.
Mr Marshal Izebhijie, Managing Director, IDDN Reliance International, manufacturers of polythene and polyester products, told NAN that the price of Nylon bags had increased in the country due to high cost of raw materials.
“Our major raw materials are imported from South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and the supply of these raw materials have reduced due to restrictions of movement occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We used to get some of these materials from Eleme Petrochemicals, but the company has shut down and we now resort to importation.
“A raw material called SK that we were buying for N25,000 before the outbreak of COVID-19 is now sold for between N35,000 to N40,000, while a bag of small Nylon bags we were selling for N12,000 before the COVID-19 lockdown now sells for N15,000.
“We are just trying to manage the business and satisfy our customers, because we are not enjoying patronage”, Izebhijie said.
Another manufacturer, Mr Benedict Onaiwu, Managing Director, Interior Components Ltd, said that the persistent hike in prices of materials used to make furniture was discouraging local production.
“The price of foam has gone up like four times this year, a sheet of lumber that we used to buy for N3,500 six months ago is now selling for N4,500, while Iron that was sold for N1,300 is now N2,400.
“The high prices of materials has led to high cost of production, which is affecting local production of furniture. Some of our clients now prefer to buy cheap imported furniture that are not durable and this is affecting our sales”, Onaiwu said.
Another manufacturer, Mr Wilfred Isele, Managing Director, SellWill Nigeria Enterprise, manufacturers of bar soaps in Edo, told NAN that the persistent hike in the price of red oil had led to high cost of soap production.
“The problem soap manufacturers are currently facing in the country is that the demand for red oil, a major ingredient for soap production, is more than its supply in the country. We want the government to open the borders so that the supply of red oil into the country can increase and the price will reduce.
“The price of red oil has continued to increase with about N5,000 to N10,000 every week, since the past six months. A drum of red Oil that sold for between N85,000 to N90,000 six months ago, now sells for between N180,000 to N200,000.
“We have to reduce the sizes of our bar soaps and increase the price a little so we can remain in business”.
Isele called for more investments in oil palm production in the country, as a long term measure to increase the supply of red oil for domestic use.(NAN)
– Dec. 15, 2020 @ 11:24 GMT |