NAHCO urges Nigerians to embrace exportation, reverse import dependence trend


By Abiodun OBA


The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) is to invest a billion Naira in cargo export with a focus on five major airports in Nigeria.

Indranil Gupta, Group Managing Director (GMD)/Chief Executive Officer, NAHCO, made the disclosure at an interactive session with aviation journalists in Lagos on Sunday.

NAHCO GMD called on Nigerian entrepreneurs to embrace exportation to reverse the import dependence trend by exploring huge opportunities in Agro produce exportation where the nation has enormous potential.

Gupta regretted that there was a high craving for Nigerian agro-produce in African countries but the supplies were not enough, hence the need for more Nigerians to go into export to bridge the gap.

He advised Nigerians to begin by exporting to Africa and later extend to the rest of the globe to create wealth and grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that citizens should seize both the inter and intra-continental opportunities, but start from the African market.

“Nigeria can be the breadbasket of this continent. Producers must recognize the rich potential in both intercontinental and intracontinental trade,” he said.

He said NAHCO recently unveiled its export processing centre in Lagos to provide a one-stop shop to help farmers complete processes needed for export.

The GMD said the facility in Lagos was the first of five of such centres that would also be developed in Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano to boost Nigeria’s export policy.

He said centres, which would benefit all geopolitical zones in Nigeria, would enhance the country’s export drive and standardise the nation’s export processing system.

Gupta said Nigeria had fertile land and great farming potential. Still, there was a need to adopt strategies to add value to agricultural produce for the acceptability of brands, and to increase the market value chain.

He said NAHCO provided a platform for linking farmers and middlemen to export markets, adding that Nigeria’s cargo was nearly 95 percent import-dependent.

The GMD said exporting provided an opportunity for foreign exchange earnings for the nation.

Gupta also expressed hope that the purchasing power of Nigerians would improve, to increase air passengers traffic in the nation, which would also impact exportation positively.

He admitted that the economic downturn affected Ground Support Equipment (GSE) investments.

He also said that there were collaborative efforts with security agencies towards tackling crime and criminality.

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