Why Nigerian Cocoa Processors Are Wailing Bitterly
So, cocoa processors in Nigeria are not just crying because they cannot ship their product to their customers abroad because of Apapa gridlock.
They are also crying because the money they have borrowed from banks to invest in their business has yielded little to nothing.
Punch reports that the cocoa processors are currently regretting sinking billions of naira into the cocoa value addition business with little or nothing to show for it even as they face constant harassment from creditors.
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The cocoa processors are said to have invested the billions of naira in the cocoa value chain in response to the Federal Government’s call for value addition to the agricultural produce meant for export.
But then, instead of the desired returns on investment, they have however suffered huge losses and indebtedness because of the harsh operating environment in Nigeria.
The Punch report quoted a prominent cocoa processor and Managing Director, Ile Oluji Nigeria Limited, Mr Akin Olusuyi, as saying in a new report that “the total debt in the industry today is not less than 50 billion naira.”
According to him, the current capacity utilisation in the industry is less than 20% and the sector is losing about 720 billion naira annually.
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