By Chiazo Ogbolu
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has inaugurated the first non-oil export processing terminal, situated in Ibeshe-Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The Managing Director of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, at the ceremony on Friday, said that the facility would enhance efforts to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil exports.
A statement by Mr Ibrahim Nasiru, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, said that the efforts were geared toward meeting President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of widening the economic horizon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is coming ahead of the official launch of the 10 certified Export Processing Terminals, spread across Lagos and Ogun States.
The Ibeshe-Ikorodu facility is designated as EssLibra Terminal.
Bello-Koko implored all agencies involved in the export processing value chain to deploy adequate personnel, urging them to work in synergy to ensure efficiency and quick turnaround in the processing of export cargoes.
He commended the management of EssLibra for the quality of facilities at the terminal and assured them of the readiness of NPA to remove all impediments against the seamless handling of locally manufactured exports and agro-allied commodities.
Bello-Koko charged the management of the terminal to resist the temptation to veer off export processing for which the facility was built.
“The rationale is to have a one-stop shop where all inspection, consolidation and stuffing of export-bound cargo will be conducted in a synchronised manner in order to eliminate all the delays that hitherto rendered Nigeria’s non-oil exports uncompetitive,” he said.
He said that the NPA management would effectively implement all government policies geared towards the promotion of exports and strengthen indigenous capacity through the promotion of local content.
“We took cognisance of local content in the certification process of this terminal, and this is why I expect the host community to take ownership of this terminal.
“They should also support its operations, in view of the multiplier benefits to the host community,” he said.
While conducting the NPA management team on a tour of the terminal, the Managing Director of EssLibra Nigeria Limited, Mr Yemi Adunola, thanked the Authority and its technical partners, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), for their unalloyed support.
He pledged his company’s readiness to render efficient services and a commitment to continuous improvement through sustained investments in human capital and requisite technology.
The EssLibra Terminal is an integrated logistics off-dock terminal, ready for all export activities such as stuffing, on-site customs clearance and barging services.
The terminal covers an area of 120,000sqm that includes an Export Processing Zone, trailer park and fuel dump, among others.
The operator is offering over 100 dedicated trucks, seven barges, two cranes and eight container handlers, among other on-demand cargo equipment. (NAN)