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High cost of producing Nigerian goods affecting export – Group

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The Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT), Nigeria, says the high cost of producing goods and services is a challenge to the nation’s export potential.

Blessing Irabor-Oza, the President of OWIT said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday.

She said the recent hike in the price of fuel had further reduced the competitiveness of Nigerian goods at the international market.

“The situation is getting worse by the day. Our cost of production is just too high and many women entrepreneurs, just like their male counterparts, are finding it difficult to cope at the export market,” Irabor-Oza said.

“We are finding it difficult to break-even at the local level and this has translated to making business penetration and success at the international market difficult. We are competing at the same international market with countries where cost of production is friendly. How do we make profit, or even make sales?”

Irabor-Oza also expressed displeasure with the poor electricity situation in the country, and called for affordable and sustainable power supply as alternatives.

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“We have adopted alternative power supply; using generators, but the recent hike in prices of diesel and petrol has compounded the existing problem.

“For insurance, my company makes garments and apparel for export, but the high cost of production, especially the cost of diesel, is slowing down production.

“I recently got a contract to mass produce garments, but I have to stop production because the prices of virtually everything in the market have gone up,” she said.

“A piece of fabric that was sold for N2,500 a few weeks ago now sells for N3,000, increment in the price of fuel also affects prices of other goods and services,” she said.

According to her, the cost of transportation has gone up, and this has led to additional cost of goods being conveyed from one location to another.