Nigeria is said to have spent N26 million on imports of wooden toothpicks from China and Germany in the last three years.
This is despite the inclusion of toothpicks on the dollar access prohibition list by the Federal Government within the same period.
Yet, the government said toothpicks could be produced locally so there was no need spending foreign exchange importing them.
Data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria imported wooden toothpicks worth N11.46 million from China in 2016.
This value excluded the amount spent on the import of rubber toothpicks, which are not too popular among Nigerians.
In 2016, Nigeria spent N8.7 million on import of wooden toothpicks from China. However, the import value for the same product dropped to N5.65 million in 2017.
Nigeria also spent N166,979 on wooden toothpick imports from Germany in the third quarter of last year.
However, Daily Trust observes that the continued decline in the import value of toothpicks in the last three years may not be unconnected with the inclusion of toothpicks in Federal Government’s dollar access prohibition list which makes it impossible for importers to access dollar from the official forex window for toothpick imports.