• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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FG designates 13 airports as perishable cargo terminals

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The Federal Government has designated 13 airports as perishable cargo airports as part of plans to transform the aviation sector into a major revenue earner for the country.

Yakubu Dati, spokesman for aviation agencies, said the airports which are in proximity to food baskets will be developed with international standard perishable cargo facilities to enhance their operations.

He noted that at present, based on expression of interest from the private sector and state governments, the following cities have been prioritised to host perishable cargo terminals: Abuja, Akure, Calabar, Ilorin, Jalingo, Jos, Kano, Lagos, Makurdi, Minna, Owerri, Port Harcourt and Uyo.

He said state governments have also been encouraged to partner with the Federal Government to revive smaller airports, particularly for taxi operations, tourism and cargo operations which could benefit domestic and regional economic development.

“This is to enable them key into the over N250 billion annual air freight export market out of Africa. Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Egypt are participating in the trading in commodities such as fruits, fresh fish, vegetables and flowers while Nigeria, which produces these produce in abundance, records zero participation.

“The strategy is therefore to create the much needed storage infrastructure in view of the large volume involved and to facilitate the evacuation of agricultural produce to domestic markets, in conformity with international standards. The European Union (EU) is the main market for African exporters, accounting for more than 40 percent of total exports, followed by the US with 20 percent.