Omotosho: Nigeria Needs Export Designated Ports

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Esther Oluku

The President of Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria (CIECOBON), Mr. Abayomi Omotosho, has said that Nigeria needs exclusive export ports to boost the country’s export industry.

Omotosho, who said this while speaking with journalist at the Investiture, Induction and Award Ceremony of CIECOBON in Lagos,  added that the creation of such ports would fast track movement of goods from the country.

According to Omotosho, the absence of export ports is one of the three bottle necks to the export industry, the other two being the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) tariffs and inadequate information from  the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS)about export proceedings.

“We need export designated ports. There was a time when the government wanted to use the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal for export only but we know nothing of that now. Export designated ports will fast track movement of goods to other countries, “he said..

Omotoso added that: “NAFDAC should discuss with stakeholders before government increases tariffs at any level.”

While commenting on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), Omotosho said it was a step in the right direction.

“It is good what President Buhari has signed with other African countries. If there is competition, you will do better unlike when you are the only one producing a particular product, ”he said.

Meanwhile, CIECOBON has appointed a new president and inducted new members into the institution.

Stakeholders in the export industry who attended were; the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), NAFDAC and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

While appreciating members of the council for voting him, the newly elected president, Omotosho, expressed his gratitude to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for financial leakages discovered and blocked.

“Let me also use this medium to thank the President Buhari’s administration for providing loan for the farmers and all allied business known today as Agriculture Small Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers Committee Initiative. The feeder government also budgeted N500 billion for the production of cash crops such as cocoa, palm oil and cashew nut, which will aid generation of foreign exchange, ”he said.

Omotosho said he has high hopes of taking CIECOBON to higher altitudes adding that he hoped to partner with government agencies and Nigerians in Diaspora to proffer lasting solutions to the challenges in the sector.

While felicitating with the newly elected president and inductees, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who was represented by the Deputy Director and Head of Planning, Ms. Moronke Thomas said that to further assist the export industry NIMASA is currently working on reducing foreign exchange rates for exporters.

“We have some interventionist policies which we are working on like the special foreign exchange rate for exporters and a cargo support initiative for special project cargo. We want as much as possible to encourage non oil export, ”she said.

On his part, the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (RTD.) who was represented by the Customs Area Comptroller, Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ms. Jayne Soboike, said that the export body should ensure at all times to represented the image of Nigeria favourably in the international market.

“Compliance is the facilitator of trade. Those that are exporting goods outside Nigeria must make sure that the goods are of standard and the packaging are of high quality, ”Soboike said.