The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Aviacargo Roadmap Committee and Lilypond Nigeria Customs Area Command are poised to work together to increase the volume of export from Nigeria.
The possible collaboration may have been enhanced recently when Aviation Roadmap Committee paid a visit to the Command’s office at Apapa, Lagos to seek partnership and suggestions in addressing the challenges militating against aviacargo export in Nigeria.
The committee led by its Coordinator, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, said during the courtesy visit that there was no reason why Nigeria as the largest producer of agric produce cannot be the number one Aviacargo hub in Africa. Uko said unfortunately, the country could not achieve this due to certain impediments. which must be addressed.
He said: “Kenya is number one in aviacargo in Africa and Nigeria is number five and wondered if Nigeria is the largest producer of agro-produce why is Nigeria not number one?.
“Nigeria doesn’t export much. In aviacargo Nigeria is number five, number one is Kenya, number two is Egypt, number three is South Africa, four is Ethiopia and Lagos airport is number five despite the fact that we are number one in population, number one in economy and we have the largest number of travellers on the continent.
“To get Nigeria from five to number one is not something that can be done overnight, we need to find out what others did. The Lagos economy is bigger than the economy of Kenya, the population of three states is larger than Kenya, the airport in Kenya is not as big as any of our airports, their airline is not the best in Africa and why is Kenya doing better than everybody else? We found out that they have a roadmap, they have a strategy plan and they are implementing it.”
Responding, the Comptroller Customs Area Command, Lilypond, Apapa, Mohammed Babandede, said that when his team came in November last year, there were challenges of rejection of Nigeria goods, delay and cancellation of contracts and was mandated by the then CGC to ensure all bottlenecks and stumbling blocks were done away and these they have achieved.
The result, he said, was the $200 million revenue they generated in the first quarter of this year and assured it would continue to increase if they continue to up their game in the service.
“For example, your habiscus flower from Kano cannot get to Lagos within five days because from Ogere, it will take 30-40 days to get to Apapa or Tincan and by then this produce would have gone bad and when it gets to its destination it will be rejected why, because the roads are congested,” he said.