Nigeria has a culture of overreliance on imported products. Even though the nation is the most populated country in Africa, with manpower supply in abundance and arable land spread all over, the country manages to spend a whopping N3.1 trillion on importations of 4 major consumables annually. Pretty insane, right?

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, has thrown us another bomb; apparently Nigeria spends almost $20 million on toothpick imports annually.

Let that sink in; $18 million on toothpicks.

And that’s not all. According to him, the country also imports 5 million eggs per year from South Africa, and spends $600 million on fish importations annually.

So you people don’t just want designer bags and shoes, you want Italian made eggs and fish too?

The truth is, if we don’t learn to invest in local producers as a country, we may never stop these ridiculous importations. Nigerian-based producers also need to up their game and actually set standards.

It makes absolutely no sense that Nigeria imports fish, eggs, palm oil, or leather when we have natural resources and manpower to produce and even export on a large scale. This was one of the reasons the current administration banned Forex access for importers of some products.

Instead of stating problems and whining about the past administration’s failures, the government needs to invest in and support production of locally made products, because all this money we’re spending is too much jare.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.