The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) is partnering with Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CEIC) in London to improve standards of export products from Nigeria.
Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of NSC, disclosed this at a briefing on Sunday in Abuja.
He said the partnership was part of the council’s effort to improve the products in the area of packaging, especially agro products.
“The issue of standardisation is being looked at by other agencies, the port quarantine, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, are doing a great job in standardisation, they are inspectors right from onset of produce. An instance of it is agriculture, the type of fertilizer you use.
“The type of insecticide you will use, is all brought to bear in standardisation. They are in contact between the buyer oversees and Nigeria, they will specify the grade they want in a product, all these we are keeping tabs on.
“We are now on high gear discussion with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in London, because one area that is of difficulty is packaging.
“There are two packaging, for the journey itself, then packaging for commercial purposes, for advertisement, you have to package your products very well.
“So, the CEIC will come up with ideas on putting packaging companies in all these ports including the Kano airport and then the Kaduna dry port and the dry ports wherever they find them,” he said.
Bello, however, said packaging would create access for import and export of Nigerian products.
He said the council would collaborate with other agencies, in order to have a structured system that prevented intruders from having access to farms or ports to purchase products illegally.
“There aught to be a mechanism of having a structured system and the ministry of agriculture, the export promotion council and many other agencies, farmers cooperatives, they must come together.
“Because I fear some abuse as it is. If foreigners will come to the farm gate and negotiate, buy these products, we don’t know what they are doing. There must be a place where these things are brought first, processed and reasonably priced.
“We are in many committees of the CBN to have access to finance which is very important for our farmers and the shippers council is interested in the transportation sector, especially maritime transport.
“We want to bring people in the community because you cannot do things alone. T_here must be synergy, cooperation, inter- agencies collaboration which is very important.
“We have been able to do that. NEPC for example promotes export, so it goes down to the bottom line as the lead agency. Were it concerns shippers council is the transportation aspect; but you see us collaborating with other relevant agencies which is very good,” he said.