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Nigeria’ll save $5bn annually producing pencils, toothpicks locally—Survey

The recent commissioning of Akwa Ibom Pencil company and the planned takeoff of toothpick factory in Ondo State have been seen by many as far from changing the game in job creation, foreign currency earnings or stoppage of capital flight.

It would be recalled that one of the products banned by the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo was toothpick.

Obasanjo administration observed that at the end of 2009, the total annual importation of toothpicks ran into about N800 million. This revelation encouraged local production to save foreign exchange as the government took commendable initiative to begin production, locally.

Analysts say Toothpick production is an interesting business that attracts huge demand. Despite its small size, it’s a business that has high yield return on investment.

Toothpicks are used both for homes, restaurants, fast food joints, hotels and travel industry. This is one of the profitable ventures that one can invest into considering that the raw materials, labour, technology and market for the products are locally available.

Statistics show that in the last few years, Nigeria imported toothpick worth over $2.5bn and pencil running into another $2.5bn

Further studies show that the relevant raw materials to produce quality toothpicks are 100 per cent locally available, handy all the year round and very cheap. This then implies that any investment into this line of production will produce at optimal capacity and in no distant time, the initial invested funds will be recouped.

The market for toothpicks does not only exist, but is expanding and sustainable with the growing daily use of toothpicks.

Raw materials for making them are either wood or bamboo, plastic containers (with the company’s logo printed on the plastic container or printed labels), can easily be obtained in the country, which is a great advantage to this venture.

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