Shippers’ Council partners Ministry of Agriculture to boost agricultural export

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The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said that it is planning a major programme with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture with the intent of encouraging the export of agricultural produce from Nigeria to other parts of the world.

The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello who disclosed this while delivering a lecture titled: The Role of Ports Economic Regulator in Promoting Export Trade in Nigeria, at the Global Searchlight Magazine’s First Year Anniversary Lecture/Honours held in Lagos at the weekend also said that the NSC had held interactive sections with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) among others on how best to assist Nigerian shippers and farmers for the export of their produce.

Bello who was represented at the event y the Director Special Duties and Public Relations of the Council, Mr. Ignatius Nweke further disclosed that had been talking with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council on the need to assist shippers to export their goods out of this country which according to him had to do with various programmes of the Council as the Council alone cannot do it.

“So far now, the Export Promotion Council is in the Board of Shippers’ Council, we have been able to synergize with them and see the best we can encourage and work with them in terms of encouraging export”, he said.

He recalled that the Council had established Border Information Centres in different parts of the country so as to enable it have information on the best approach to exporting goods from the country while enabling shippers access those centres that would aid their export trade.

While stating that the Council was encouraging shippers through its policy on inland dry ports, he noted that there were dedicated segments of that ports where shippers could process some of these agricultural produce for export while equally encouraging that such terminals should have such sections and have refrigerated warehouses where one could get those things done.

According to him,” We looked into the issue of having collaborations with the technical unit on government and agricultural reforms programme, Independent Corrupt Practices on this issue of SOP and PSSP. All these things we are trying to do to make sure that there is seamless flow in terms of trade and the trade we are concerned about is the non-oil export and these are things we have been doing all these while.

“When we look at the records by way of interventions, you discover that in 2017, according to the Bureau of Statistics, we have a total export of N3.9 billion in the fourth quarter of last year which grew by 35% over the figure of the third quarter of that year. We look at the countries we have been trading with, in the first quarter of 2018, we have India, Netherland, Spain, United States, France, South Africa, UK, Indonesia, there are lots of figures.

“All things said and done, with us at the Shippers’ Council, one thing is paramount to us as a port economic regulator; we should equally encourage export trade in Nigeria. If we don’t work at encouraging export out of the country, then the economy will not be balanced and that is the major concern of government.

“Council is equally planning a major programme with the Ministry of Agriculture on how to encourage export and it is only if we do that that we will be able to ensure that the balance of trade in the country gets on better and I think we have to create employment in this country”.

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