Â Eromosele Abiodun
The Executive Director/Chief ExecutiveÂ Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr.Â Â Olusegun Awolowo has endorsed the establishment of the proposed export processing and logistics facility at the Lilypond Container Terminal, Ijora Lagos.
Awolowo, who gave the endorsement at a business seminar on export logistics organised by Accessport Limited, said the project will provide a one-stop shop for export processing and logistics services.
The facility, he added, will provide a conducive environment for service providers on shipping, warehousing, joint inspection by customs and other regulatory and certification agencies for easy and accelerated clearance of goods for export to the international market.
He added that the project will definitely go a long way in streamlining export procedure and documentation.
According to the NEPC boss, the project will provide exporters the much-needed export infrastructural facility needed to carry out their transactions successfully and efficiently at a reduced cost and time thus increasing their competitiveness in the international market place.
He said: â€œSuffice to say that this business seminar provides a platform to sensitise the various export groups and regulatory agencies on the opportunities available for exporters in handling their business activities from the receipt of export goods at the warehouse in the terminal, inspection and documentation procedures to stuffing of containers for final shipment, all handled in one location thus cutting down cost and wastage of time.
â€œIn essence, this is a game changer as it will impact positively on the effort of the council at diversifying the economy, reduce cost of doing business and promote non-oil export trade, which are in line with the federal governmentâ€™s programmes of diversification of the economy and increasing Nigeriaâ€™s ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index. It will also invariably encourage informal exporters to formalise their export business, as well as assist in the collation of statistical figures for use by the federal government and business concerns.â€
The NEPC boss said the council has resolved to continue encouraging private investors through its Public and Private Partnership (PPP) synergy to invest in export warehouse and logistics services.
He added that â€œThe outcome of this project is aimed at enabling exporters get their goods and services across to the export market within the time frame required without comprising the quality of their products which would have been certified to conform with international best practices. This would also ensure easy compliance with the present efforts of the government to complete all export transactions within 48 hours. I truly believe that this platform will also provide the platform for employment generation and create opportunity to earn foreign earnings through the repatriation of export proceeds. Let me assure all stakeholders that the NEPC will continue to support such interventions in the non-oil export.â€
On his part, the Managing Director of Accessport Nigeria Limited, Mr. Las Alli-Shobande said Nigerian ports, particularly with the concession of the same have not helped the need for inside stuffing of containers by exporters and adequate examination procedure for reasons of inadequate space and security.
He said: â€œThe Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has done well by keying into the vision of the NEPCÂ in developing a standard operating procedure in all our ports. So we hope to discuss the other aspects of the logistics chain to make the entire process easier, as we are aware that all the steps in the chain are inter-dependent.â€
He added that available statistics indicateÂ Â that Nigeria have over 2.3 million tonnes of non-oil exports leaving its shores annually.
â€œAs we all know these figures can only continue to grow with the right perspective for logistics and other factors which are beyond the scope of our discussion. With this stated volume, the aspect of job creation can rightly be imagined. We can therefore see the need to support the export trade by providing the appropriate platforms to enhance a seamless logistics service for our economic growth,â€ he said.