Ikechi Uko, chairman, AviaCargo Roadmap Committee, in a paper titled ‘Repositioning Cargo Operations Through Development of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Nigeria’, presented at the recently concluded Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s National Aviation Conference (FNAC) in Abuja, noted with dismay that 80 percent of containers arriving Nigeria return empty due to an unstructured export system.
Out of every 10 containers that come into Nigeria laden with imports, only between one and three leave the country with exports, Uko said.
Nigeria is the largest producer of many agro-products, but still loses $1 billion annually to non-certification of the country’s agricultural produce for export as a result of lack of organisation.
“In 2021, the five biggest African exporting nations are South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. Collectively, that powerful cohort of African shippers generated over half (55.7%) of the continent’s overall exports by value.
“Nigeria is known to be number one in several things like, economy by GDP, population, agricultural commodities, but Nigeria is 5th on the African AviaCargo export chart after Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia,” Uko said.
He, however, disclosed that the Nigerian government plans to grow cashew export from $252 million to $500 million in 2023.
The reason for lagging behind in the AviaCargo export chart is not far-fetched.
He listed non compliance of farmers to internationally and domestically accepted standards; lack of certification; inability to trace, lack of access to international markets; lack of knowledge on global requirements; bureaucracy and high cost, to be some of the obstacles to seamless export business in Nigeria.
Source : Business AM