In a recent press address, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Habib Abdullahi unveiled the positioning of the agency to key into the Federal Government’s agenda to diversify the economy.
He said the agency was now more focused on ways to encourage the export potentialities of agricultural products and solid minerals. Mr. Abudullahi, who spoke to some Editors in Lagos said the ports were littered with empty containers indicating that the nation’s mono economic model which had been largely import driven in the past and with majority of those ships coming here going out empty, noting: “We can encourage people to export their agricultural produce and solid minerals as a way of helping to diversify the economy.”
”The diversification will help to shift the focus from import to export, so we can take advantage of the containers lying idle. This is one of the areas we think we could diversify and increase revenue thereby compensating for the loses from the oil sector.”
Mr Abdullahi revealed that the NPA has already written a letter to Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Nigerian export promotion council, to this effect.
According to him the agency was re-orienting the terminal operators to support this trend, while at the same time also strategizing with the customs to see possible areas of engagement and collaboration to ensure some terminals could be solely dedicated to export.
In his words: “We are trying to see how we can make Ikorodu an export port. We also have some interested parties coming in to help our dedicated cause, for example, we have received proposals for Ilaje port in Ondo; they want to make the port dedicated to solid minerals”.
Talking of exploring new trade routes, like directing business to other ports in the country to reduce the pressure at the Lagos terminal, the NPA boss said though it was not a direct function of the authority to tell people to use any particular port as this was dependent on the exporter or importer, the agency was working at improving infrastructure across all the ports, hoping that government and the terminal operators would promote and encourage businesses to come and use them.
Culled from: Vanguardngr.com