Africa: Nigeria’s Govt. Approves Five Export Processing Terminals To Boost Agro Export

Agro export

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has approved five export-processing terminals to boost the nation’s agro export to the international market.

According to thisdaylive.com, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, at the public presentation of export processing terminal licenses in Lagos, explained that movement of agro export boxes arriving the ports from Lagos & Ogun states shall only be allowed into the ports from any of the five Export Processing Terminals (EPT).

Koko who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Mr. Onari Brown, said for export containers arriving from the Domestic Export Warehouses (DEWs) located across the country, the Authority is committed to receiving export containers subject to compliance with the traffic management put in place by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority.

“We have found the partnership with Lagos State Government very effective in taming the traffic gridlock and we are desirous of ensuring the export boxes which represents important deliverable for us and the Federal Government work in sync with the structure for the mutual benefit of the state, national economy and Nigerian export community,” he said.

He added: “For our terminal operators, shipping companies and other stakeholders, you have been fully briefed on the procedure for ensuring success of the Federal Government National Action Plan on agro – export development in the country. You have a responsibility to ensure strict compliance in this regard.”

He added the official presentation is a testament of its unflinching resolve to transform Nigeria’s export potentials into actualities.

“We are presenting operational licenses to five EPTs namely; Messrs. Diamondstar Port & Terminals Limited, Messrs. Esslibra Terminal, Messrs. Sundial Global Trade & Service Limited, Messrs. Bellington Cargo Limited and Messrs. Tenzik Energy Limited. These terminals are to support our ongoing efforts to create the enabling environment that will scale-up our export development initiative,” he added.

READ: Africa: Ogun Cargo Airport to be unveiled at Chinet Aviation and Cargo Conference 2022

He noted that the procedure for licensing these terminals commenced in April, 2021 after which 30 companies expressed interest.

He pointed out that the inspection committee and the Project Delivery Team (PDT) following a thorough engagement including presentation by prospective companies arrived at a list of 10 companies, which were subsequently granted approval to join the Lilypond Export Processing Terminal.

According to him, only five out of 11 companies have met its stringent conditions and would be granted formal certification, stressing that the remaining six who hold provisional licenses would unfortunately be dropped at the end of this month if they fail to meet its standard to allow the Authority consider other applicants on its waiting list.

“This journey has not been easy but we have insisted on ensuring that only venture capitalist willing to deploy appropriate resources can make the cup. We have also used this project to encourage local content in the export value chain and we are proud of that. We will offer all support policy wise to ensure the growth and stability of the terminals,” he averred.

He stated that the need for the Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) is underscored by the limitations of current port facilities in the Lagos area which are operating beyond their ‘as built capacity’ for cargo handling, stressing that the EPTs are therefore holding areas positioned in Lagos and Ogun States to help exporters prepare their arrival at port terminals in-view of the traffic management challenges that are visible in Lagos.

In his words: “This initiative signposts the Nigerian Ports Authority’s (NPA’s) commitment to implementation of the National Action Plan on Agro-Export and the Federal Government of Nigeria desire to diversify the national economy from oil export to non-oil exports.”

Also speaking, the Comptroller, Lilypond Export Command, Muhammed Babandede, said Nigeria has the potential to be among the top economies of the world to also be one of the top export nations across the globe, saying that the present administration is prioritising efforts to promoting exports.

“Once exports is promoted, at least there should be procedures for exports that will add to our national reserves. We cannot be a country of only import, we have to also export we have to produce and Nigerian Customs Service is doing everything to promote the business of export,” he said.

He added: So that is why a whole command is established at the Lilypond. If there is anything that has to do with export, it will be jointly examined. The command is a one stop shop where all the relevant agencies of government are there. So once a container is examined, seen, it will go to any of the ports of the choice of the exporter and the container will be escorted by our officers and natural port authority security personnel.”

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