Stakeholders seek better ways to boost agricultural export processes

PHOTO CAPTION: Editor of Africa Travel Quarterly magazine, Mr. Ikechi Uko (middle), Managing Director of SAHCO Plc, Mr. Basil Agboarumi (3rd left), Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB- N), Engr Akin Olateru and other attendees at the 2nd CHINET Aviation and Cargo Conference held on 7-8 September 2022 at the Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Sept. 10 (THEWILL) — Stakeholders in Nigeria’s aviacargo sub-sector have come up with better ways to boost agribusiness export processes.

Stakeholders are of the view that there is an urgent need to harmonize agri-export processes and agency operations and develop a single document on the various processes, in order to achieve the vision of realizing the benefits of the concept new export processing zones through the country’s airports.

They made the recommendations at a 2-day conference, the CHINET 2nd Aviation & Cargo Conference held on September 7-8, 2022 at the Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

The conference hosted by Africa Travel Quarterly magazine editor, renowned aviator and tourism expert, Mr. Ikechi Uko, was well attended by a suite of regulatory and non-regulatory agencies involved in the export trade.

Some of them include Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), National Agencies for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Agency for Quarantine Services (NAQS ), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Port Heath Services, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, NAHCO Plc, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), among others.

In his presentation, the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of FAAN, Captain Hamisu Yadudu, said that there was a 50% increase in the number of goods that passed through Nigeria’s airports in 2021, compared to 2020. Adding that 13 airports have been designated in Nigeria as cargo airports.

Yadudu advised airlines to increase their capacity in cargo operations.

Moderating a panel discussion on the role of cargo airports in Nigeria’s cargo sector, Managing Director of ABX World Agro Allied Solutions, Captain John Okakpu called on the government and relevant agencies to create an enabling environment for the exporting agricultural cargo and making the necessary airport facilities to make the business attractive.

Okakpu expressed his belief that the Nigerian private sector has the capacity to improve agricultural export volume performance, with sincerity, focus and stakeholder engagement.

Also presenting a paper on behalf of the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Director of Investment Promotion and Investment Services of NEPZA, Mr. Augustine Onyekwere noted that investment in airport SEZs would attract more incomes and boost the national gross domestic product (GDP), investments and exports.

Regarding the challenges facing the growth and development of air cargo export in Nigeria, Onyekwere said that a recent survey showed that 11 out of 16 charges involved in export processes are illegal, while only five of the 16 miscellaneous charges tracked for goods entering or leaving the country are officially recognized.

He further identified lack of modern infrastructure, corporate governance, policy and regulation, high cost of aviation fuel, insufficient funding and resources, high cost of operations, insecurity, insurance, environmental challenges and corruption as export constraints.

Onyekwere also called for improving the ease of doing business at airports by reducing bottlenecks through reducing a number of government agencies at airports and eliminating too much paperwork.

Speaking on behalf of its Director General, Dr. Ubiogoro Eloho of the National Agency for Quarantine Services (NAQS), stressed the need for greater cooperation between government agencies involved in agro-export processes and the compliance of farmers, exporters and their agents with the requirements. . It has also called on handling companies to provide the necessary facilities for the processing of agricultural products for export, such as cold rooms and electricity.

A Deputy Director of NAFDAC, Mr. Effiong Joseph, who presented a paper on behalf of its Managing Director, Pharm (Ms.) Kelechi Nwude, called for full automation of customs clearance processes for regulated goods at ports and the NAFDAC collaboration with other agencies.

“NAFDAC process automation is essential to ensure the growth and development of aviacargo’s master plan,” said Nwude.

The President of Export Group, LCCI, Ms. Bosun Solarin stressed the need to properly enlighten investors interested in agri-export on the processes of exporting products, pointing out that there are too many processes involved in agro-export and that this had been a source of discouragement, as many potential exporters had experienced product losses and wastage due to too many bottlenecks.


Comments are closed.