The importation of ceramic tiles into Nigeria, would by 2025 hit $2.1 billion, which amounts to over N761 billion. A Professor of Ceramics Engineering, Patrick Oaik-hinan, gave the figure on the sideline of the launch of Oaikhinan Ceramics Foundation in Lagos.
According to The Nation, Oaik-hinan lamented that despite Nigeria’s potential growth for ceramics, its import bill was huge.
The professor, however, made known that the huge import bill was as a result of the gradual destruction of ceramics manufacturing in Nigeria, which according to him, was witnessed in the 1950s and 1980s when five international ceramic manufacturing companies located in different parts of the country went moribund.
Oaik-hinan added that the ceramics industry was further affected by focus on crude oil production.
“Currently, there are nine operating ceramic companies in Nigeria, eight for tiles and one for sanitary ware, and they operate under various capacities. Ceramics (ROYAL) is the oldest major manufacturer of ceramic tiles and is closely followed by PNT.
“The average production capacity is 40,000-45,000 square meter per day for the eight manufacturing companies combined. I thank the Chinese for 100 per cent investment in six out of the eight ceramic tile companies, and the Indian with investment support for the remaining two tiles companies,” he added.
In order to resuscitate the ailing Ceramic industries in the country, some measures must be put in place.
The measures include – reliance on abundant local raw materials to substitute imported inputs; provision of funds to enhance production; ensuring a good management system, and provision of technical assistance through international bodies, amongst others.