BusinessDay

NPA implores UK government to end rejection of Nigerian exports

The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello- Koko has urged the British government to put an end to the rejection of exports from Nigeria by the United Kingdom.

According to him, most rejection was born out of a preconceived hostile perception of Nigeria, and not the quality of the exports.

Bello-Koko, made this call when he received Mike Freer MP, the UK Minister for Export, who visited Nigeria and the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) recently, on trade facilitation.

Represented by Onari Brown, the executive director of Operations, Bello-Koko said Nigeria expects a commitment to the tenets of trade facilitation, and rejection of exports because they are of Nigerian origin, is unpleasant.

According to him, the Nigerian government is on an export drive and has recently licensed 10 export terminals as a one-stop centre where all documentation from relevant agencies takes place for swift transactions.

“We are diversifying our economy from oil. As partners in progress, we expect a lot from you. We are open to knowing areas we are supposed to improve on in order to improve our export drive,” he added.

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Olufunmilayo Olotu, Apapa port manager, said the NPA has mapped out a portion of the Lilypond Transit Park as an Export Consolidation bay for the port and provided structures and systems to shorten the trade process and ensure goods get to the ports of destination in the best shape.

She said the NPA has seen situations where exporters had to remove Nigeria’s identity to take on the identity of a fellow West African country for exports from Nigeria to be accepted in the UK.

Olotu advocated that exports from Nigeria should not be treated with any reputational bias, to enable the country to earn due recognition and value for her trade initiatives in the UK.

Adeyanju Modupe Aremu, the coordinator of the Nigeria Customs Service Zone ‘A’, said that the ongoing automation of trade processes by the Service would address issues of delays and facilitate the clearing of cargoes at the ports.

She disclosed that the Service would be installing a scanner at the Lagos Port Complex before the end of the year.

Responding, Minister Freer said he takes away from the visit ‘the real drive for modernisation to ensure the ports in Nigeria are among the best in the world’.

He said the UK will do all it can to assist the Nigerian government to meet its objectives.

 

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