The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has presented operational licenses to five Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) to support ongoing efforts to create enabling environment that would scale-up export development in the country.
The five export processing terminals licensed are Diamondstar Port and Terminal Ltd., at Lilypond Terminal; Ijora, Esslibra Terminal at Ikorodu and Sundial Global Ltd., Navy Camp site, Kirikiri.
Others are Bellington Cargo Ltd., Okokomaiko, Lagos -Badagry Expressway and Tenzik Energy Ltd, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal 1.
Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, NPA, during the presentation noted that this was a testament of the authorities’ unflinching resolve to transform Nigeria’s export potentials into actualities.
Bello-Koko represented by Mr Onari Brown, Executive Director, Marine and Operations, added that the authority had used this project to encourage local content in the export value chain.
He said that they would offer all support, policy wise to ensure the growth and stability of the terminals.
“The need for EPTs is underscored by the limitations of current port facilities in the Lagos area which are operating beyond their ‘as built capacity’ for cargo handling.
“The EPTs are, therefore, holding areas positioned in Lagos and Ogun States to help exporters prepare their arrival at port terminals in-view of the traffic management challenges that are visible in Lagos.
“This initiative signposts the NPA’s commitment to implementation of the National Action Plan on Agro-Export and the Federal Government of Nigeria desire to diversify the national economy from oil export to non-oil exports,” he said.
He said that the procedure for licensing which commenced in April 2021 had 30 companies expressing interest and later streamlined to 10, of which five met the authorities stringent conditions to join the Lilypond Export Processing Terminal.
He said the remaining six, who hold provisional licenses would unfortunately be dropped at the end of this month if they fail to meet standard to allow us consider other applicants on the waiting list.
He said that the integration of the barge and train movements would complete the circle and they look forward to work in collaboration with Nigerian Customs to achieve this.
Bello-Koko said that NPA was not unaware of the existence of export warehouses handling manufactured products.
He said they were working with the Export Command of the Nigerian Custom Service to bring up seamless modalities that would govern this aspect of the project.
“May I emphasize that movement of Agro Export boxes arriving the ports from Lagos and Ogun states shall only be allowed into the ports from any of these five Export Processing Terminals.
“For export containers arriving from the Domestic Export Warehouses (DEWs) located across the country, the authority is committed to receiving them subject to compliance with the traffic management put in place by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the NPA,” he said.
The NPA boss noted the partnership with Lagos State Government was very effective in taming the traffic gridlock.
“We are desirous of ensuring the export boxes which represents important deliverable for us and the Federal Government work in sync with the structure for the mutual benefit of the state, national economy and Nigerian export community,” he said.
Also, Mr Mohammed Babandede, Comptroller Lilypond Export Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) noted that the only way the country would grow was through the promotion of export.
According to him, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) has given the approval to ensure that the five export terminals approved by NPA gets seamless trade.
“Anything that has to do with export, please don’t hesitate to come to our command to assist you.
“With the approval given by NPA, all export going out of the country should emanate from these five terminal and the additional 13 domestic export warehouses approved in the country.
“These are where customs officers can examine the export containers,” he said.
Responding, the export terminal operators appreciated the NPA for the license given, adding that this was a step to making Nigeria becoming a high volume non-oil exporter in the world.
They pointed out that their target was to bring ease to export business and address the huge imbalance in trade.
They promised that their service would be optimal and goods would be handled with utmost professionalism.
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