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Indian electrical manufacturers urged to set up plants in Nigeria to checkmate high cost of doing business

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CHINYERE IKEANYI

Nigerian businessmen in electrical and related materials have appealed to Indian manufacturers to consider setting up of their plants in Nigeria to checkmate high cost of doing business.

The businessmen, who mde the plea at Power and Elec Nigeria 2022, the largest international B2B meetings & Trade Fair in Nigeria, said the setting up of Indian plants in Nigeria was necessary because of the challenges of delay in clearing of goods at Nigerian ports, high import duty, soaring cost of freighting and other bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The two-day Trade Fair was declared open by the Head of Chancery, High Commission of India, Lagos, Rachit Rawat, on March 28, 2022.

Twenty-seven Indian companies, which participated in the Trade Fair, provided the right opportunity for them to interact with Nigerian businesses and regulatory authorities and ascertain the right requirements for local demands and see likely opportunity for exports and investment in Nigeria.

 According to the businessmen, to clear a 20 feet container of electrical materials at the port now costs about N4.5 million against N1.8million being charged before, while freighting of the same size of container from India to Nigeria costs about $7,500 and  freighting of a  40 feet container costs about $15,000.

They said these were apart fro about two months’ delay and costs of clearing goods at the ports coupled with demurrage charges and touts who collect over N200,000 per container.

One of the businessmen, who is a dealer in electrical materials Sunday Chris Orji, stated that if Indian electric product manufacturers open factories in Nigeria, it will not only create employment but also facilitate business.

   Chris Orji, the Chief Executive Officer of Promadaz Industries Limited, added that if Indians opened their plants here in Nigeria, the dealers in electrical and related materials would have more sales.

 “By the time you calculate the clearing cost, freighting and other logistics, the business is difficult”, he added, pointing out that Nigeria cannot move forward in creating jobs and increasing GDP when it relies only on importation.

Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Chairman of General Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria, Alaba International Market, Lagos, Peter Ubaezike, who agreed that Indians have investments in Nigeria but not yet in electrical sector, said there was the need forthem to establish in Nigeria.

Disclosing that over 5,000 containers are imported from India annually with a container costs about $150,000, Ubaezike stated: “Alaba market remains the largest electrical market in West Africa and Alaba controls about 65 per cent of imports”.

In his remarks, the Lagos State Chapter Chairman of Nigerian Institute Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), Olalekan Olabode, said there would be ripple effect on India business and Nigerian economy if Indian manufacturers establish in Nigeria.

Responding, the Head of Chancery, High Commission of India, Lagos, Rawat, disclosed that Indian- owned companies have investment in excess of $19 billion in various sectors in NIgera.

Rawat added that further interactions with Nigerians would deepen business collaborations, pointing out that India has crossed over $400 billion exports with Nigeria accounting for about $6 billion of this figure.

“A lot of Indian companies are interested in Nigerian market and they are interacting with local investors. We encourage them to interact, engage and understand the requirements of Nigerian businesses and consumers and see likely opportunities for setting up local manufacturing plants in Nigeria when and how it is convenient to them”.

The organisers of the Fair, Jeen Joshua, who is the Director, Sales Verifair Intelligent interface, described Nigeria as a country with massive potential in terms of upgrading of facilities especially in electrical sector.

Joshua also said Verifair was a business catalyst, bringing international companies with expertise in various areas and creates business deals with local companies for the society and the economy to grow.

Assessing the Trde Fair, the Chairman NIEEE, Lagos, Olabode, said the Chater, was in support of the B2B Powerelec Nigeria 2022 Fair because it was an avenue to ensure and promote the standardization of equipment to be deployed to Nigeria.

“We encourage building synergy with developed nations with the ultimate goal of transfer of technology by establishing the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) plant which will create job opportunities (employment) with a resonance effect of increasing the GDP of Nigeria

‘The mission of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) Lagos chapter is to promote professional competence and excellence among members through innovative contributions and the development of sustainable solutions to challenging engineering problems by deploying efficient technologies and systems for the benefit of mankind”, Engineer Olabode further stated.

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