Nigeria's wood industry thrives on post-export ban lift

The Tropical Wood Exporters Association of Nigeria (TWEAN) has reported significant regulatory improvements and economic activity growth in the wood sector following the lift of an export ban last year.

The ban was removed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), heralding a new era for the Nigerian wood industry.

In an interview with The Guardian, TWEAN’s General Secretary, Joe Odiase, highlighted the resurgence of the wood industry since the ban’s removal, coupled with the government’s proactive measures to foster sector growth.

According to him, the lift has attracted more furniture manufacturing companies to the industry.

Odiase revealed that approximately five million Nigerians are currently employed across the wood processing industry’s value chain and believes that employment numbers could rise further with full policy implementation.

He said efforts to involve all sector stakeholders are evident, as the Minister of Environment has conducted numerous meetings with saw millers, exporters, and local furniture makers.

Odiase stated that the minister has engaged with the Nigeria Customs Service to streamline wood export processes.

He said no one cannot export without meeting the ministry’s specifications and contributing to the government’s afforestation programme, as outlined in the wood export policy guidelines.

Odiase expressed optimism that the industry is set to boom and significantly contribute to the nation’s economic growth, thanks to the current policy guidelines.

However, there is growing concern among stakeholders about certain officials in the Ministry of Environment, potentially undermining the sector’s progress recorded so far.

The stakeholders warned that any adverse actions could severely impact the industry’s future.

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