(1) Do you know that the global ceramics market was worth about $230bn annually in 2018?
(2) It is projected to grow to $407bn by 2025 as increasingly, ceramics are venturing into new areas like dental implants
(3) Now, Nigeria has an abundance of the raw materials used for ceramics like soda ash, kaolin, clay, silica and sand
(4) Looking at the economics of the industry, raw materials and energy are the two largest elements in the cost structure of ceramics manufacturing process. Raw materials constitute 22% of the cost structure in ceramic production closely followed by energy, which accounts for 21%, while labour and overhead constitute 16% and 13% respectively. Other costs include transport, distribution and depreciation, which account for 28%
(5) Currently, the Asia Pacific region dominates the market, accounting for about 40% of global revenue In the sector. Growth in the region is attributed to expansion of end-use industries in India and China
(6) Apart from plates, saucers and tea cups, ceramics have several other uses including sanitary ware, abrasives, bricks and pipes, tiles, pottery, building and construction material, industrial uses and medical equipment
(7) Now, here is a figure that will drive you mad. Do you the value of Nigerian ceramic tile imports is expected to total $2.1bn by 2025 from the current $500m. This is despite the fact that our labour costs are about half those of the countries from which we import. Basically, it is cheaper to produce ceramics in Nigeria but alas, we chose to import
(8) Ceramics expert Professor Eguakhide Oaikhinan, said Nigeria’s ceramic industry can help to create up to 5m jobs if we get it functional
(9) Some of the inhibiting factors militating against the sector in Nigeria include the non-inclusion of ceramics education, engineering and technology in the education system, low domestic participation in the industry which has been dominated by the Chinese, the lack of modern production technology facilities and of course the absence of basic infrastructure like, regular power supply, water and roads. How do we overcome these?
(10) If you ask me, this is not really a government matter. In sectors like ceramics, our problem remains the lack of an enterprueneral class of manufacturers and industrialists. We have a very lazy elite and bourgeois who are shamelessly content to serve as importers of foreign goods rather than manufacture their own. Their sole goal is to amass personal wealth, so the idea of taking pride in what you manufacture is totally alien to them