The Nigerian Ports Authority announced on Wednesday that it has successfully enabled the movement of 150 export-loaded containers daily from all the Export Processing Terminals to the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports.
This remarkable improvement is attributed to the effective procedures and collaboration between the NPA and the EPTs.
Lilypond Export Processing Terminal, in particular, has played a substantial role in this achievement by accounting for 80 export-loaded containers daily over the past nine days.
During a visit to the facility, Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of NPA, expressed the importance of the export processing terminals in swiftly processing exports for shipment, stating,
“In the last two days, we have processed about 300 export containers from the EPT alone – an increase from probably 30 to 40 per cent in the past, but now it is about 60 per cent increase.”
He explained, “We gave out licenses, which are supposed to bring in exports, sort them, process them, document them, seal the containers, and send them straight to the vessel for the voyage.”
This approach has significantly reduced wastage of perishable agricultural produce, benefitting the export of Nigerian commodities, particularly agricultural goods.
Koko emphasized, “Gradually, the exporters that had been exporting through other countries are beginning to bring in their cargo.”
“So, we are going round to ensure that the SOP we put in place is actually working, and where there is a need for it to be adjusted, we will do that.”
He also highlighted efforts to prevent double tariffs or charges for exporters, thus reducing the overall cost of exporting Nigerian products and enhancing their competitiveness in the global market.
Koko commended the Nigeria Customs Service for its prompt response in amending processes related to customs activities for exports, aiming to facilitate seamless export operations.
He acknowledged concerns regarding access to ports, attributing some of the issues to poor road conditions and extortion. The NPA has taken steps to address these challenges.
Furthermore, Koko stressed the importance of complete documentation for cargoes and collaborative efforts with various government agencies, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs, and NAFDAC, to ensure smooth export processes.
Overall, Olatunji Baale, the Managing Director of Diamond Star Port and Terminal, which operates the Lilypond EPT, expressed optimism about further enhancing export operations, potentially doubling or tripling export container numbers weekly.
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