Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has inaugurated the first Nigeria export processing terminal, code-named Diamond Star Export Processing Terminal situated at Lilypond in Ijora, Lagos.
The Diamond Terminal would ensure speedy and seamless processing of exported cargoes, accessing Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos.
It would also serve as a pre-gate from where export goods would move directly into the port.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Managing Director, NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, noted that the terminal would help to reduce wastage.
He said it would also reduce the rejection of Nigerian export goods and the time wasted before exports gained access to the ports.
“There have been several cases of rejection of exports originating from Nigeria, which could be attributed to time wastage and longer time at the port, but the terminal will ensure speedy processing of export’s”, Koko said.
According to him, the initiative was in line with the NPA’s commitment to the implementation of the National Action Plan on agro-export and the government’s desire to diversify the national economy from oil to non-oil export.
NPA, he said, is also working to integrate the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Nigeria Export Proceed (NEP) form into the electronic call-up regime.
“The need for Export Processing Terminals is underscored by the limitations of current port facilities in the Lagos area, which are operating beyond their built capacity for cargo handling.
“The export terminals will serve as holding areas positioned in Lagos and Ogun States and it will help exporters prepare their arrival at port terminals in view of the traffic management challenges that are visible in Lagos,” he said.
Koko continued that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) had served as the technical partner of the NPA through the journey of setting up the terminals.
He applauded the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for creating an Export Command.
The MD said the Authority would work with the Customs’ Export Command to bring up seamless modalities that would govern export trade.
“We are also working to integrate barge and train movements to complete the circle in collaboration with Nigeria Customs.
“The movement of export boxes from the Lilypond Export Terminal shall be directly through Warehouse Road to cut down on time for arrival at the port.
“Similarly, movement of export boxes to Tin-Can Island Port shall be from the Diamond Star consolidation point at Emmadunamix Terminal in Okota,” he said.
Also Speaking, Executive Director NEPC, Mr. Ezra Yakusak, who was represented at the event by Mr. Haruna Ali, said the terminal would help to create more room to increase the volume of non-oil exports in Nigeria.
Earlier, Assistant Comptroller General of NCS, Zone ‘A’, Mrs. Adeyanju Aremu, said the service had developed Standard Operating Procedure in line with global standards to remove impediments along the export value chain.
Aremu urged users of the ports to take advantage of Customs’ commitment to the facilitation of legitimate trade to excel in their business and put Nigeria on the global map of top non-oil exporters.
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