Major players in the cargo and aviation sectors have criticised the government’s bad policies as reasons for the lack of growth of exportation of agro produce from the country.
Speaking at the agro export air logistics seminar of the Airport Business Summit and Expo in Abuja, speakers were of the views that sound government policies will raised the standard and quality of goods to be exported
In his welcome address, the convener ABSE, Mr Fortune Idu ex-rayed the importance of the programme as it will enhance continuity improvement in the quality delivery and safe services, policies, programmes, plans among others.
Idu said there was need to periodically interface through gatherings to ensure the sharing of wider information with a view of deliberating the future.
According him, airport investment provided great options not only to investors but the airport management, stressing that privatisation or private equity injection into airport development was seen as hopeful alternative for growth and sustainability which allowed airport to respond as business entity.
Idu disclosed that ABSE will look at prospects of airport investment marketing and the agro air logistic with the aim of opening more opportunities for the airports to earn more revenues.
He noted that a lot of capital was needed to keep airports going especially as it involved transformation such as construction of new terminals, expansion and upgrade of runway in order to meet the pace of increasing air traffic demand.
According to him, poor harvesting practice by farmers, poor market conditions, poor transportation, inappropriate government funding and insufficient infrastructure have remained great challenges in the export of perishables.
For Mr Mudiaga Okumagba, the chief operating officer Red Star Express maintained that without taking agro seriously, Nigeria will have problem in exporting her produce.
According to Okumagba, the county will earn $52b annually from the United Kingdom if the potential of the perishables cargo were harnessed noting that Nigerian products were rejected outside the shores.
He noted that there was high cost of freight for perishables as a result of the dwindling rate of the naira and poor storage facilities for perishables.
Okumagba however opined that designated locations at cargo shed for agro commodities should be established to encourage farmers to export their produce.
He noted that the creation of a single window for agro export will reduce landing costs as it will eliminate bottleneck in the system.
Okumagba advocated for the adherence law enforcement on quality and standard of perishable produce intended for export to reduce interception.
Tayo Ojuri, an aviation consultant however disclosed that bad government policies have not favored the movement of produce in the country adding that evacuation of finished products has become very difficult as a result of poor transportation system across the country.
According to Ojuri, Kebbi Airport was constructed for the movement of agricultural produce but lamented that the present administration in the state has neglected the original purpose of the construction of the airport.
Ojuri called for the setting up of onion dehydrating plant that will extract onion powder than to allow the airport to go into extinction.
Mr Adamu Abdullah, Director consumer protection Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, misplacement of priority has been the greatest challenge in the cargo export business.
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