By Uchenna Eletuo
Mr Olayemi Abass, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Produce Export, on Wednesday said the committee had set up a workable template to support agricultural produce export.
Abass made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the difficulty exporters went through at ports necessitated the emergence of the committee to prevent administrative delays at ports with regard to export.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee drawn from the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is meant to encourage non-oil exports.
Abass said that many of the export items got damaged at ports, while waiting to be cleared to sail due to unnecessary delays.
He noted that the delays were not in tandem with the Presidential Order on the Ease of Doing Business at ports.
“We have carried out consultations with concerned agencies and we have arrived at a workable template to facilitate exports.
“ The issue of delay at ports has been taken care of because the operatives involved in the delay have been co-opted into the operations of the committee to make exports seamless.
“Logistics matters and proper storage at ports have to be taken care of in order to make the produce retain its quality up to the port of destination,’’ he said.
According to him, the template is an all-inclusive one that will aid the trade without hassles and scale up the nation’s revenue base through non -oil exports.
Abass regretted the rejection of some exported Nigerian produce because of low quality and chemical agents found in them.
He said that the scope of the committee transcends produce logistics to laboratory and quarantine aspects to advocacy in order to ensure seamless international trade.
The committee chairman called on Nigerians to make use of the export window to expand their earnings, while creating the needed jobs along the value chain in the produce export.
He advised exporters to approach the committee’s desk located at ports to ease their transactions. (NAN)