The plan to boost non-oil export to earn foreign exchange is coming to fruition as Nigerian businessmen and women are crossing the hurdles to export perishables to Europe, the United States and Canada.
On Wednesday Bubex Foods, a Nigerian exporting company branded and exported eight tons of pap to the United Kingdom. The move is expected to increase the country’s export capacity and in the long-run reduce pressure on the naira.
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc said the organisation received a boost with no fewer than one million tons of goods being exported monthly through the facilities.
NAHCO said this rose from 500 tons a months earlier in the year and projected that by next year, the company would be able to export about four million tons of perishable goods, as the demand of Nigerian food items by Nigerians in Diaspora continues to rise.
Speaking during the export of the pap to Europe, Business Manager, Export, NAHCO, Segun Fagbemi said the export of cargo at the ground handling company was between 400-500 tons monthly for several years, but had since increased to one million tons in recent times.
He attributed this to the policy of the government, which he said encourages non-oil revenues and exportation.
Fagbemi stated that the ground handling company was targeting exportation of four million tons of cargo from its warehouse monthly, stressing that the company had the capacity to accommodate such massive tons.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bubex Foods, Miss Ijeoma Ndukwe said the company embarked on exportation of Bubex pap to Europe and America due to the encouragement received from the government.
She explained that the eight tons of Bubex pap being exported would further increase revenue generation for the country, stressing that the company was targeting 20 per cent of the 35 million Nigerians in Europe.
Ndukwe lauded the managements of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Free On Board (FOB) Global Logistics and NAHCO for creating the avenue for the company to export the product to Europe.
She added that apart from the United Kingdom, which the product was being exported to, the company also planned to penetrate the American market, noting that with this, demands for foreign exchange would reduce.
She declared that the pap scaled the European and American integrity tests before being exported, noting that the plan of the company was to export at least 450 million tons of pap annually.
Ndukwe emphasised that the company was established eight years ago, but went into exportation of perishable goods about five years ago, stressing that with proper packaging and branding, Nigerian goods would be acceptable around the world.
She said: “This present product would be shipped to United Kingdom today and arrive there tomorrow (Thursday). This product has passed Europe and America integrity tests. It was shipped to NAHCO warehouse on October 1, 2020, which is about a week ago, but despite this, the taste remains the same. It shows you the amount of effort we put into place to come out with what we have today.
“We have been talking about the government creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurs. This for me is an enabling environment. We now have a system where goods including perishable cargo can be stored and get to their destinations quickly. This to me is faster and won’t have to wait for three months before it gets to the end-users. This will be in United Kingdom by tomorrow (Thursday).”
Also, the Executive Director, NEPC, Segun Awolowo expressed delight at the success of the company to export the product out of the country.
Awolowo who was represented at the occasion by the Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Mr. Samuel Oyiyipo reiterated the stands of the commission to encourage exporters, saying that Nigeria was gradually diversifying its attention from oil revenue to non-oil revenues.
Awolowo described the exporting process as seamless, maintaining that the pap being exported met all the international standards.
Head, Operations, NAHCO, Biodun Oyebade, described the success as laudable, stressing that NAHCO was happy to be a part of the success story.
According to him, the warehouse facility of NAHCO could accommodate any perishable goods either imported or exported out of the country and called on other entrepreneurs to take a cue from Bubex Foods.
He charged other entrepreneurs to collaborate to build the economy, noting that as more products are exported out of the country, there would be less dependent on foreign exchange.
“We want to beef up our capacity to support every Nigerians that are into this business. We want to help foreign exchange, build up our economy and drive down the exchange rate. We all need to come together to boost our economy,” he said.