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NigeriaDecides2023

NAHCO, NEPC partner to boost non-oil earnings with export processing centres

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, (NAHCO) has entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to perform the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Lagos phase of the NAHCO Export Processing Centre.

NAHCO will be replicating the building of these export processing centres across five states in an effort to reverse the country’s trade imbalance.

The centres will help reduce product rejection encountered by Nigerian exporters in the international market in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port-Harcourt and Kano.

With NAHCO Aviance recipient of the NEPZ grant, the project when completed in five months will boost the export potential of the country to about two million metric tonnes per annum.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lagos state project, on Friday Ezra Yakusak, the executive director, of NEPC, said the country must continue to embark on projects that would reverse trade imbalance.

Yakusak, who noted that the project was in line with the NEPC export survival campaign, said the only way out for Nigeria to survive economically was to export.

He maintained that the non-oil sector remains a low hanging fruit for every Nigerians to plug into to gain foreign exchange in order to stabilize the economy.

“We are very delighted that the NEPC grant which we assisted NAHCO is working and is judiciously being used; I think we need to appreciate them because in some other balance when these grants are given, they will say this is government money and of course the story is a different thing.

“I am so happy today that the grant that was given under the export expansion facility programme is working and I assure you that in the next four to five months that this building will be standing. Nigeria may not understand the importance of this, but when you hear the various cases of export rejection due to poor packaging you will understand that we need this badly,” he said.

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He hinted that with the rise in dollar in Nigeria today, the only way out is non-oil export, adding that the two means of foreign exchange; diaspora remittances and foreign direct investment, are all affected by political and other economic issues.

“Politically, if there is insecurity in the country it will affect FDI, but that is not applicable to non-oil exports. Non-oil export is a cash cow and a low-hanging fruit that every Nigerian can plug in there and we gain foreign exchange to stabilize our Naira,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, Seine Oladapo Fadeni, the Chairman, NAHCO Aviance, said NAHCO is prepared to help the Nigeria Export Processing Zones, (NEPZ) achieve their dream of boosting the export processing areas when the project is fully completed across the geopolitical zones.

“We realised the fact that we need to boost the process of exporting Nigeria’s products, especially agricultural products, so that we can have more FX and our dollar does not depend on petroleum products alone.

“But one of the major challenges we have abroad is that our products are not well packed, not up to standard and that is what we tend to do here. We put in everything possible to make sure that whatever passes through these warehouses is international,” Fadeni said.

However, in the face of the trade imbalance the country is currently facing and the role of export, Indranil Gupta, the GMD/CEO of NAHCO Aviance, reiterated that the processing centre would help export all kinds of non-oil products that require different facilities.

Gupta affirmed that Nigeria can become the export hub in the West Africa region and for the diaspora market if it properly positions itself.

He explained when completed the project will include automated cold rooms, various government offices and exporting inspecting bays

“We must understand Nigeria is surrounded by francophone countries; all these countries are 90 percent dependent on imports and those imports are costly from Europe, America. We can use that as an opportunity and make the Nigerian exporters move into that zone. A Lot of our products can replace those from America and Europe.”

For the processing centers, “We are looking at a processing capacity of more than 2 million metric tonnes per month and that is our objectives of the entire process. It will have an inspection bay which has an automated weighing scale incorporated into the inspection bay itself and the authorities will have offices overlooking the inspection bay.”

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