The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) had entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to drive export volume and end the tradition of empty containers leaving Nigeria.
The partnership was enhanced when the Executive Secretary (ES) Nigerian Shippers Council Mr. Hassan Bello paid a courtesy visit to the Executive director/CEO the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo on Thursday.
According to Bello, with end to oil economy, unless Nigeria drives its export volume now, the economy will be suffer.
“Out of ten containers than come into Nigeria laden, only two or three are taken out with exports. We can do even more. We can do even twelve” he lamented.
The Executive secretary further said the NSC is facilitating export to “cut export charges to the barest minimum”, in addition, digitisation of the ports and ensuring multi-modal transportation access to the ports are already in progress .These he said, will reduce the dwell time for cargo to six days maximum and improve Port Efficiency.
According to him, “we have to incentivize the exporters. We need to bring the incentives in a total package. Even our terminals are not export friendly. The cost of export is higher than our competitors. The government must be conscious and concerted by this” he stated.
He said “Nigeria has no option but to look at exports. The volatility, uncertainty and unpredictability of oil has been exposed. We have learnt our lessons. If we didn’t go back to producing rice locally, when the pandemic came, china and Thailand were no longer shipping rice to us so we wouldn’t have had rice.
We have 63 products which we may have competitive edge” for export he stated.
Mr. Awolowo, the CEO NEPC while speaking ,said his agency has identified 22 export commodities that can reverse the ugly trend of containers gong back empty from Nigeria.
“Nigeria must refocus the economy to the point where we don’t need oil to survive. But the message is sinking because the presidency is also responding” he said.
He stated that his agency wants to key into inland container deports across the country to drive exports starting with the Kaduna dry port.