Imperatives and Guidelines for Bamboo Development Policy in Nigeria
Nigeria’s industrial policy has always hinged on the development and utilization of its locally available raw materials. The current industrial policy which came into operation in 1988 aimed at increasing private sector participation in the manufacturing sector and accelerated development and utilization of local raw materials by the manufacturing sector. Studies carried out on the wood and wood products sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria showed that total wood available down to 30cm cutting diameter in national forests is approximately 293,775,500m3. When this is juxtaposed with annual requirement estimated at 59,955,000m3 for 2010, extreme wood shortages are expected in the near future. As a result of this, the nation has to develop a substitute or complementary raw material to wood. One of the most recognized substitutes is bamboo. Bamboo has been used as substitute to wood in most applications and new uses are emerging. As Nigeria is blessed with abundant bamboo resources, efforts should be made to develop the nation’s bamboo resource. The imperatives that will lead to sustainable development of bamboo as an industrial raw material in Nigeria are its role in biodiversity conservation, impending wood deficit, bamboos high industrial potentials and its abundant availability in the southern and central parts of the country. To foster bamboo development, there is need for a comprehensive and long term support that only a policy can provide. The goals of such a policy and its approaches and strategies to be adopted must be clearly highlighted in the policy document. The guidelines for the development of such a policy are outlined in this paper.
Keywords: Imperatives, bamboo, industrial policy