By Emmanuella Anokam
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), says Covid -19, also known as Coronavirus is seriously disrupting global supply chain.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, ACCI President said this on Tuesday in Abuja while hosting a business delegation from the European Union led by Gianioca Russo.
Kayode in a statement signed by Mr Lubem Gena, ACCI Media and Strategy Officer said that the ongoing disruption affecting the big economies may affect businesses in Africa.
“We commend government for the ongoing drive to boost internal manufacturing and production capacity. We must do more, especially as Covid-19 is creating a challenge that may affect economic growth of many African nations.
“That China is slowing down implies commodity and oil exporting nations are going to be hard hit.
“Several reports from our members within and outside the country, confirm that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March.
“This will force thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S.A and Europe,” Kayode said.
He also noted that the impact may be more than envisaged as many companies relied heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials.
Citing the falling activity of Chinese manufacturing plants in the past month, Kayode said that Nigeria and some African nations would be affected due to interlinking to China and regional supply chain hubs like South Africa and India.
“Reports from our members within the chambers of commerce show that certain imports from India are becoming difficult, because some of the Indian colonies depend on China for supply of certain parts in their production chain.
“This is so in the pharmaceutical sub-sector and other areas,” he added.
Kayode, who stressed the need for local capacity development in manufacturing and other business sectors, explained that the disruption was already affecting ports.
He quoted Allard Castelein, the Chief Executive Officer of Rotterdam harbor as saying: “the effect of the coronavirus is already visible. The number of departures from Chinese ports has decreased by zero per cent these days.”
Kayode noted that activities at the French port of Le Havre was also slowing and could drop by 30 per cent within two months, while situation at South African and other African ports were getting slower.
The ACCI boss affirmed that Covid-19 was not just a health pandemic but an economic hammer that may plunge world economy into likely recession.
Russo, in his reaction, described the pandemic as a global threat, noting that the impact may be more severe economically beyond the health emergency.
“This is a worldwide challenge, governments and businesses must cooperate to cushion the effect, not only on the global supply chain, but also the inter related world of production and commerce,” he said. (NAN)