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SAHCO, ABX World complain of bottlenecks in Agro export, 75% produce go to waste…SAHCO

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L-R: Deputy Comptroller of Custom, Mr Abdulhammeed Mohamed; Managing Director/CEO, SAHCO PLC, Mr Basil Agboarumi; Managing Director/CEO, ABX World and Agro Allied Solutions, Captain John Okakpu; Ethiopian Airlines representative, Mr Magnus Masade; Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, SAHCO PLC, Mr Olaniyi Adigun; Head, Cargo Services, SAHCO PLC, Mr Jide Kafidipe.

…agencies documentation serious setbacks…ABX

…. difficult to do away with so many agencies… customs

Farmers and exporters of agriculture produce may soon heave a sigh of relief if the partnership between the Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO) and ABX World and Agro Allied Solutions, is anything to go by.

The two companies during a meeting, pledged to work together to promote agro-export business in Nigeria through the provision of world class storage facilities and logistics support for farmers and exporters.

According to the Head of Cargo Services, SAHCO PLC, Mr. Jide Kafidipe 75% of agricultural produce goes to waste due to poor storage facilities despite the hard work of farmers.

He stated that SAHCO had a massive cold storage facility in readiness for taking care of perishable items which would be a good starting point to curb the wastage.

“The facility is capable of handling 16 to 35 aircraft pallets and SAHCO PLC is also planning to invest in packaging especially of perishable goods”.

Kafidipe further stated that one of the reasons farmers were not taking advantage of the export facilities was because of too many bottlenecks caused by too many agencies that seemed to be repeating the checks that other agencies have done.

Also speaking during the meeting, the Deputy Comptroller of Customs in SAHCO Export, Abdulhameed Mohammed said it might be difficult to do away with so many agencies especially Clean Certificate Inspection,(CCI) among others because Customs examination was based on the investigations of other agencies.

He noted that, this was because Customs was an enforcer of law and policies and stressed that exporters should know the procedures to avoid rejection of their produce.

Mohammed explained that there were some very important Customs’ documentations that if not addressed, aircraft would always go back empty from Nigeria.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of SAHCO PLC Mr. Basil Agboarumi reiterated SAHCO commitment to ensuring farmers have hitch-free export opportunity in Nigeria through the provision of its facilities.

According to him, ‘SAHCO PLC has one of the best warehouses in Africa and the best in West Africa. SAHCO has invested so much on equipment. In cargo, we have just commissioned the purchase of new scanning machines. Also, we just acquired state-of-the-art High loader (LAM35) which has the capacity to load and offload up to 40 tons at a go”.

Responding, Captain John Okakpu, MD/CEO ABX World and Agro Allied Solutions said Nigeria had over twelve products that were of export value , adding that the forum would look for ways to move the country forward instead of relying on oil, stressing that Nigeria was blessed with good weather and good soil, unlike some countries that export agro products despite severe weather conditions or bad soil.

He said agencies documentations was cumbersome and causing serious setbacks.

In his words ‘In US and Europe, the agencies are not as numerous, and the process is not as cumbersome’, adding that it takes an average of 72 hours to do documentations here in Nigeria after which the produce must have gone bad.

Capt. Okakpu urged the government to investigate the policies to make things easy for exporters of Agro produce.

He also advised farmers to do the Coordinates of their farm to make them visible to the world, assuring farmers that very soon they will find it easy to export because ABX World and Agro Allied Solutions was in talks with the Government to ensure farmers do not go through difficulties while trying to export their produce.

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