Ibom Deep Seaport and Lekki Seaport To start operation in 2021 - Shippers Council - NaijaTikTok || 24/7 Naija Entertainments

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Monday, 22 June 2020

Ibom Deep Seaport and Lekki Seaport To start operation in 2021 - Shippers Council

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, speaks on the challenges confronting ports and how to make their operations seamless in this interview with Okechukwu Nnodim

How would you describe the export chain in Nigeria?

The export logistic chain in Nigeria is weak. We need the Central Bank of Nigeria to look at the whole gamut of our logistic chain and build export centres all around the dry ports. Kaduna State, for example, is an area for the production of ginger. Many metic tonnes have been exported from the Kaduna Dry Port, but the rail capacity is not much and we need the rail system to run efficiently there.

So I want the central bank to look at the logistic chain and the infrastructure in order to see where it can intervene directly. It should look at the dry ports and make them centres for export. It should enhance them, provide consolidation centres and processing companies, because we should not be exporting raw commodities, we should add value.

We know that value addition creates jobs and that means packaging. For every packing or processing company we may get close to a hundred jobs in the value chain up till when such commodities are exported. And with this, you will see that we will not care much about the volatility in global oil prices.

Are there other agro produce, aside from ginger, that could be considered as well?

We can enhance cocoa, cashew nuts, turmeric, sesame seeds. They are so many that I cannot name now and this is based on research. I’m just talking about non-oil exports, particularly agro-based products.

We need to be a producing nation, rather than a consuming one. We need to have factories running. Our people should not just be selling mangoes but should be working in mango factories, producing juice and so on.

So that is what the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is trying to do. We are trying to stimulate the economy because when it is stimulated, you will have adequate infrastructure such as roads, rail, barges, etc, to allow us translate and transform our products to be compliant for export.

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