Free On Board (FOB) Goods & Logistics in partnership with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and some other international partners have concluded plans to build a N250 million packaging factory at the Murtala Mohammad Airport in Lagos.
The partners said the factory was to build what is called ‘Brand Nigeria’, meaning that any item, any shipment that is leaving the shores of Nigeria must be properly labelled, properly packed so that the produce, the producer and the nation will be showcased on the international shores.
The chief executive officer of FOB, Mr Oluwajimi Adebakin who disclosed this to reporters in an interview yesterday said, discussions were at its final stage with NAHCO towards the commencement of the packaging project, adding that the site has already been secured.
He announced that the brand Nigeria project which he described as a national assignment, was being embarked on to ensure that products exported from Nigeria meet international standards through proper labeling and packaging.
Adebakin also disclosed that federal government was planning to build domestic warehouses across the six geo-political zones of the country to cater for exports and help to decongest the Lagos area.
He said the domestic warehousing facilities when completed would have internal storage facilities, packaging facilities and temperature control facilities for perishables and non-perishables.
The gesture, Mr Adebakin stressed, will create employment for the youth, with creating the enabling environment through its zero oil policy to encourage the youths in works that would meet standards for export.
“The government has finally woken up and we thank the President for taking this bold initiative to let us start looking inwards, we want to regain what we lost in the 50’s, let us go back to where our comparative advantage lies.”
He added that, “The main thrust of the zero oil policy is to ensure first and foremost, we create gainful employment for our youths. Nigeria is highly talented, from entertainment to music, culture, you name it, what government is now proposing to do is to create the Enabling environment, it is going to be a thing of the past for somebody to say I am not employed, it is now going to be a question that you have refused to be gainfully employed.”
The FOB boss also emphasised that the credit facility offered by the FOB would motivate Nigerians interested in export to come on board.
“If it is designing of shoes that you can do, we are creating warehouses off shores of Nigeria where we will be displaying made in Nigeria products and produce.
“This is why we believe that 100 tonnes of cargo on a daily basis is achievable in a nation of over 260 million people if only 10 million of us play active role in this endeavor, we will be doing more than 100 tonnes definitely a day and we see an opportunity to reduce unemployment drastically across the 774 local government of Nigeria”, he added.
He called for subsidy for Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that charges are waived on goods as a way of encouraging exporters to export goods, adding that growing export remained the only solution to the challenges faced by the country.