Nigerians should be more serious with exportation of goods to replenish the country’s dwindling foreign reserves and bring it out of economic recession.
The Customs Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, Benjamin Aber made the plea at a meeting on the Nigerian Export Trade Hub (NETH), hosted by the Customs command.
He suggested that Nigeria needed to be focused on exportation in order to get out of the current economic recession.
Aber had in the last eight months been organizing several meetings geared toward reviving the Kirikiri Terminal.
He said that agriculture could sustain Nigeria if vigorously pursued.
“It is time Nigeria moves forward in its export business. We need to move Nigeria forward away from reliance on oil.
“Agriculture can sustain this country.
“The Nigeria Customs Service is now in the forefront that export business should be done in such a way that it earns foreign exchange for the country,’’ he said.
Comptroller Aber said that all Federal regulatory agencies would be linked to the NETH, adding that doing business through the Hub would be easy.
NETH was launched on Aug. 2016 by critical stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), National Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA)
It is aimed not only to earn foreign exchange for the country but to also create a trade balance. This will ultimately help Nigeria out of economic recession.
The exportable commodities are to be warehoused in Aulic Container Bonded Terminal in the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos.
According to the Coordinator of the Hub, Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Frank Ezeh, NETH gives investors the opportunity to bring in their goods, have easy access to exporting them out of the country.
“This is to also guide against the ban or black listing of Nigerian exports to Europe and the world over.
“With this, the country’s balance of trade will be improved upon,’’ Ezeh said.
Prof. Nick Ezeh, the Chief Executive Officer of Aulic Container Bonded Terminal, who doubles as the Chairman of the Infrastructure and Business Committee of NETH, said that the terminal has a standard police station.
According to him, there is also an export hall measuring 11,000 square metres, fire service station and a medical clinic.
Ezeh said that with the10-lane road project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Nigeria, “the terminal is a place to be’’.
“Already plans are in top gear to link the terminal with the ongoing rail construction and the major road for easy movement of goods and cargoes,’’ NAN quotes him as saying.
Corroborating Comptroller Aber’s position on government agencies in the terminal, Ezeh said there were buildings that would accommodate all government agencies in separate offices.
He called on government’s representatives at the meeting to turn in their requirements and how they want their offices to look like.
A representative of NACCIMA, Chief Wale Adegboye said that the Hub would add more value to the exportation of goods in Nigeria and “will bring back the confidence of exporters in Nigeria’’.
He lauded the resilience of Comptroller Aber in bringing the needed change with his expertise.
Adegboye promised that the Chamber would support the Hub.
An official of the NEPC, Mrs Mary Ikejiofor, also said that the NEC would support the Hub.
She said, “NETH is a one-stop window that will aid exporters in the exportation of their goods.’’
Ikejiafor advised all government agencies to link up to the Hub as it would guide against exportation of bad products.
Already, there will be a data base and documentation management system in the Hub that will aid exportation of goods within 24 hours after a logging in and payment is made to the necessary agency.
Also a warehouse warrant is to be issued by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE), as the data in the Hub is accessible all round the clock and seamlessly linked to the NEPC.
The data could not be destroyed by fire.
The portal also spotted bad products which will not be allowed to go out as such products would not be certified.
“The Hub also helps the exporter identify potential market and distribution channels of his products and provides fast access to financing.