Border closure means failure of Customs Service: NABGroup

*  NAHCO re-emphasises commitment to boosting agric exports

Isola Moses

Contrary to claims being flaunted in certain quarters that there have been lots of advantages to Nigeria’s closing its land borders to neighbouring West African countries for several months now, stakeholders have said the border closure against importation and smuggling of agro-allied products is a clear indication of absolute lack of confidence in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The Federal Government has taken the action as disincentive to smuggling and a boost to agricultural productivity in the country.

The Guardian reports that Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, Vice-President of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), during an agric expo in Lagos, reiterated that farmers do produce over 100 percent of food needs of Nigerians, but lose same to poor post-harvest management.

At the delivery of a paper titled: “Effective Ground Handling and Preservation – Critical Factors for Mitigating Challenges to Agriculture Export” on the occasion, the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) also re-emphasised its commitment to the growth and development of agricultural export in the country.

The company has expanded its facilities to boost the volume of export of products the company handles by 68%.

Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), at the Africa Agric Expo, said the development had become significant, following the Federal Government’s border policy.

That informed the need for Nigeria to produce enough for consumption as well as export food products to boost the nation’s economy, he stated.

Fagbemi outlined the factors retarding the growth of the sector and explained that the company’s aim was to eradicate a situation where Nigerian exported goods are returned to the country over inability to meet international standards.

Assuring the stakeholders of a brighter and better 2020, the NAHCO Aviance boss revealed that the aviation handling firm is ready to work with others to boost agricultural value chain and work towards reducing the wastage due to lack of requisite equipment to preserve them.

“Nahco Aviance has increased its volume of export of agricultural products by about 68%, having spent about $2 million to expand its facilities while improving on security for exported products,” she said.

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