I see this as a crazy history, Nigeria just commissioned the first toothpick and pencil making factory in the country.
This is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s diversification plan which has also encouraged production and consumption of indigenous goods.
Mr Kunle Obayan who is the director general of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) commissioned
the factory noted that the country was going through hard times but insisted that the quest for solution must be paramount.
“We may recall that all the tooth pick and pencils used in this country are imported. You may now appreciate why I referred to this project as a novel one.
This is probably, the first indigenous toothpick making factory in Nigeria
“It is on record that millions of dollars are spent annually in the importation of toothpicks and pencils.
The Central Bank of Nigeria no longer provides foreign exchange for the importation of toothpicks therefore; the viability of this project is not in doubt.”
Obayan encouraged Nigerians to shift towards consumption of local goods and reduce their craving for foreign items.
“We no longer need to import toothpicks from China or any other country for that matter. Let us begin to patronize our own from today henceforth”
He said the NDE planned to provide 30 immediate direct jobs and another 150 indirect jobs within the first months of operation.
“I wish to use this opportunity to request the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to expeditiously approve the application for waiver of End user’s
Certificate (ECU) for Urea formaldehyde Resin Powder,
an essential input in the production of pencils using waste paper.”
He said the country will also start exporting these items and this will also inject 2, 000 jobs into the country.
“We don’t have anybody that does that in Nigeria. We import all our pencils. And we have a beneficiary who has set up a plant to produce pencil.
The beauty of this pencil is that it is actually made out of waste paper. It is not from wood. So, it is from waste to wealth.”
Samuel Babatunde who is the chief operating officer of the toothpick factory applauded the NDE for the support.
“We sincerely appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari whose insistence that we must use made in Nigeria products.
Though, to the average Nigerian, this is causing a lot of hardship but there is nothing good that comes easy.
“With this development, it is hoped that the process for Nigeria’s economic recovery has begun.”
Leadership reports that Chief Audu Ogbeh who is the minister of agriculture quoted the Central Bank of Nigeria report that
Nigeria spends about N5.6 billion annually on importation of tooth picks.
So it took Nigeria 56 years to get a toothpick and pencil producing company. Presidents Come and Go for about 10 times just for Nigeria to Build s tooth pick company.
Now the Government will think it has established a big firm and so Praises should be showered on them.
Actually the problem is not Establishing the company, the problem is what will be the quality of the product. Do not be surprised if
the toothpick produces will be the type that will break or even in one's mouth. Or the toothpick will be of unrefined wood.
Nigeria can do the worst.
But let us Hope for the best.