The Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, has urged terminal operators, shipping companies and other stakeholders to comply strictly with the Federal Government’s National Action Plan on Agro- Export Development to ensure its success.
Bello-Koko, who made the call on Tuesday at the commissioning of Diamondstar Export Processing Terminal Lilypond, Lagos, said it was imperative for the stakeholders to to ensure strict compliance with the National Action Plan.
He said the commissioning of DiamondStar Export Processing Terminal as a pre-gate for processing all export bound containers entering Lagos Ports using the road corridor is a demonstration of the premium placed on the speedy and prioritized handling of export in a bid to make Nigerian exports competitive in the global marketplace.
“To our terminal operators, shipping companies and other stakeholders, you have been fully briefed on the procedure for ensuring success of the Federal Government National Action Plan on Agro – Export development in the country. You have a responsibility to ensure strict compliance in this regard.
“Let me seize this occasion to assure that we will continue to encourage patriotic local investors by deliberately deploying specific policy to strengthen them. I want to say a big congratulation to us all as on this giant step towards making our national economy export led.
“This initiative signposts the Nigerian Ports Authority’s commitment to implementation of the National Action Plan on Agro-Export and the Federal Government of Nigeria desire to diversify the national economy from oil export to non-oil exports. The Authority is by this move positioning to infuse greater efficiency into the logistics surrounding the entry of export boxes into the ports and the eventual loading on sea-going vessels.
“The launch of this and other terminals also strategically positions Nigeria to optimize the advantages of the benefits inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Agreement,’’ Persecondnews quotes the NPA boss as saying.
Bello-Koko the Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) became inevitable as a result of the limitations of current port facilities in the Lagos area which are operating beyond their ‘as-built-capacity’ for cargo handling.
He said: The EPTs are therefore holding areas positioned in Lagos and Ogun States to help exporters prepare their arrival at port terminals in-view of the traffic management challenges that are visible in Lagos.
“The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has served as our technical partners through this journey for which we are truly grateful. We are also currently working to integrate the CBN NXP to the e-call up regime and have progressed on discussion to operationalize same using the electronic call up as the gateway.
“As we can all see, the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, in response to the request by the Authority has graciously established an Export Command to support the Federal Government efforts in this regard. We are also currently working to integrate barge and train movements to complete the circle in collaboration with Nigerian Customs.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority is not unaware of the existence of export warehouses handling manufactured products. We will work with the NCS export command to bring up seamless modalities that will govern this aspect.
“To emphasize the importance of export in our strategy, movement of export boxes from the Lilypond Export Terminal shall be directly through Warehouse Road to cut down on time for arrival into the port. Similarly, movement of export boxes to Tin-Can Island Port shall be from the DiamondStar consolidation point at EMMADUNAMIX TERMINAL OKOTA.’’
On the movements of the boxes for agro export only, Bello-Koko said: “May I emphasize that movement of Agro Export boxes arriving the ports from Lagos & Ogun states shall only be from this terminal and four (4) others already granted approval & shall be officially presented their licenses on 3rd November, 2022 at a separate ceremony slated for our Corporate Headquarters.
“For export containers arriving from the Domestic Export Warehouses (DEW) located across the country, the Authority is committed to receiving them subject to compliance with the traffic management put in place by the Lagos State Government who have provided the enforcement backbone under a collaborative relationship that has ensured the success of our electronic call up project.
“We would work with you and our colleagues in the Nigerian Customs to find the balance necessary to ensure the desired outcome.’’