Nigerian spent at least 331 million euros on importation of food processing and packaging machines between 2010 and 2013. This amount represented 67 per cent growth from 198 million euros in 2010. The Managing Director, Fairtrade, Mr. Martin Marz, disclosed this in Lagos at the commencement of a three day Nigeria agrofood and plastprintpack Nigeria 2015 exhibition.

According to him, during the same period, imports of packaging machinery and equipment moved up from 86 million to 183 million euros, representing 116 per cent increase while imports of plastics machinery grew by 71 per cent, from 52 to 89 million euros. He noted further that the food and beverage sector was the largest segment of the Nigerian manufacturing industry comprising 22 per cent, estimated at 16 billion euros aggregated output, adding that food and beverage sector constitutes about 4.6 per cent of the Nigerian Gross Domestic Products, GDP, stressing that not less than 66 per cent of total consumer expenditure.

The company chief also explained that in 2013, total consumer expenditure in the food and beverage sector amounted to 80 billion euros and posted a growth rate of 16 per cent after rebasing of GDP and informed that the sector generated over 1.5 million jobs in the country thereby employing 5 per cent of the Nigerian workforce.

He said: “Packaged foods have seen increased demand following the 40 per cent growth of organized retail outlets evidenced in the past five years. In addition, rapid growth in the fast moving consumer goods sector has been a major driver, a trend, which is expected to continue. “For the Nigerian plastics and packaging sector, it has grown to over 3,000 companies.

The packaging industry in Nigeria is fairly developed and tends to mirror the trend in the local fast moving consumer goods industry. “Flexible packaging and plastics packaging have become very popular in Nigeria. Raw materials employed in the packaging sub-sector are mostly imported.

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