In a bid to salvage Nigeria from the current economic crisis, the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Aulic Group of Companies in collaboration with the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Customs Command has initiated plans to establish the Nigeria Export Trade Hub (NETH) at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex.
The NETH project got the endorsement of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) when the National President, Dr. Bassey Edem led a NACCIMA delegation to visit the proposed site for the project, off Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
The National President of NACCIMA, Dr. Bassey was impressed with the NETH project, acknowledging that the project was in sync with the association’s goals for the nation.
Dr. Bassey said that NETH was strategic in providing the ideal export environment as well as the concept and infrastructure that would ensure that Nigerian manufacturers have the market access to market their goods.
“This project makes it much easier for the companies who are setting-up their businesses for export purposes. We can have them around and it would be easier for them to export their goods. Once this seamless process is guaranteed, the tendency is that the producers of raw materials from the farms and mines would produce more as a result of the increased demand.
The NACCIMA boss also added that the project would provide massive jobs and also ensure that the businesses and other primary producers thrive.
“At the moment this place looks like a ghost-town but in two or three years it should be beehive of activities”
Meanwhile, the Customs Area Controller(CAC) of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) T.B Aber said he was the visioner of the NETH project to increase Customs revenue via export duty.
CAC Aber noted that the mandate he received from the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) to reform the KLT Command was what led him to think of new ways of increasing the revenue generated from the command.
“All sectors of the Nigerian economy would grow with the developments of projects such as NETH. Most of the problems we have in this country are because our business processes are not being transparent and people get scared in getting into import and export.
“Nigerians have suffered so much especially in export to such an extent that people have neglected it but this is the key to transforming the nation’s economy. The new Customs management under Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) has encouraged us to do all we can to ensure that export thrives so that we can earn foreign exchange via exports.
“This area is about 322 hectares of land, this is vast and we are going to manage not only the agriculture but also agro-allied exports, solid minerals processing, semi-manufactured products, etc. and Nigeria’s revenue would increase even as we become a preferred environment for business” Aber said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Aulic Group, Prof Nick Ezeh told MMS Plus that NETH is a project that promises to make more Nigerians billionaires as a result of the business opportunities that would accompany the project.
“This is going to create diverse opportunities that would take the youths off the streets, open Nigeria to the international market, and enhance the nation’s manufacturing and packaging capacity. With NETH, we are reiterating the fact that Nigeria has to first produce, manufacture and export,” He added.
“The first thing is to produce, then add value before you export and generate revenue. This is strategic to revive the nation’s economy and balance its level of import and export” Prof. Nick said.
In another development, following the MMS plus report on the security challenge the forthcoming National Delegate Conference(NDC) of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN) pose to the port industry, the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has called a meeting of all the maritime agencies’ chief executive officers to appraise the developments and map out strategies to forestall breakdown of law and order in the maritime industry.
The meeting said to have taken place last week had all the parastatals represented, including the National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA). Subsequently, the General Manager, Security of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) was mandated to produce a security report on the port, with a consequent directive to beef up security at the ports.
Worried however that the Union’s forth coming election has the potentials to breed national and industrial disharmony if allowed to take place with the bites of alleged injustice and perverse ethnicism as allegedly orchestrated by the out-going President General, Comrade Tony Nted, the Federal Government has deemed it exigent to intervene and ensure that its policies are not derailed even as peace is maintained.
However, Nted has still kept sealed lips over the deluge of allegations against him yet has maintained his stand on producing Comrade Adewale Adeyanju as his successor, while constantly fanning the embers of ethnic dichotomy during his subtle campaigns, especially at the one that took place recently at Chelsea Hotel in Festac, Lagos, Nigeria. It was a meeting of all the MWUN districts in the South –South, which he moved to Lagos for political reasons.