“Several reports from our members within and outside the country confirm that the peak of the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chain will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assemblies and manufacturing plants in the US and Europe.”
The President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, expressed this concern when he hosted a business delegation from the European Union (EU) led by Gianioca Russo of Q and T in Abuja.
He raised alarm that the ongoing disruption affecting the big economies might soon openly affect businesses in Nigeria.
Prince Kayode said COVID-19 was “seriously” disrupting the global supply chain and that African businesses might soon be hard hit.
The industrialist said the impact of the disruption might 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 February, he said Nigeria and some other African nations would be affected because of interlinking to China and regional supply chain hubs like South Africa and India.
He added that activities at the French port of Le Havre were also slowing and could drop by 30 per cent within two months, and that situations at South African and other African ports were getting slower.
He explained that, “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. This is a worldwide challenge. Governments and businesses must cooperate to cushion the effect not only on the global supply chain, but the inter-related world of production and commerce.”
The EU envoy, Russo, described the COVID-19 pandemic as a global threat, noting that the impact might be more severe economically beyond the health emergency.