By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to reposition Nigeria’s economy, the Federal Government is intensifying efforts to boost export and creating a value chain that that would refine the products before exporting.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello revealed this during a chat with maritime journalists on Tuesday, this week.
Noting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy, Bello said; “We need to look inward and export is very important. Export is going to be our main line now because import is going to trickle down because there is a lot of disruptions in the international supply chain. Even China will not export what it used to export, they will like to keep it for domestic use”
According to him, there have been so much distractions and he posited that it explains why the government has been admonishing Nigerians not to import rice but support and patronize Nigerian farmers.
“Look at the rice we have been begging not to import rice, I learnt they are not exporting rice and for the rice revolution that the nation wants to attain, we have to look inwards,” he said.
On port operations, the Shippers’ Council boss about 800 trucks carrying perishable goods for export were stuck as they were denied entry into the terminals until the Shippers Council had to intervene.
“There were about 800 trucks outside some terminals but Shippers’ Council has brokered with the terminals and now these trucks are going in. We want these exports to be evacuated because some of these exports are perishable and we cannot afford to have them on the roads.
He opined that there was need to enhance the port processes and procedures to facilitate export, noting that a new export strategic committee has been instituted which comprise NSC, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others.
The NSC boss also posited that there is a need to have a virtual port so that operations can be seamless and people don’t have to be present at the ports to take delivery of cargoes.
He noted that such efficient port system would reduce the burden on exporters who currently have to do their businesses under a hostile and difficult environment.