The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, has disclosed that the country recorded a 34.5 per cent increase in the metric tonnes of export between 2021 and 2022.
Bello-Koko, who spoke during a webinar on the export of non-oil products at the 2023 Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar in Lagos, said the country’s export volume grew to over 5.1 million metric tonnes in 2022 from 3.79 million metric tonnes in the previous year.
According to him, 3.5 million metric tonnes of export trade were facilitated through the nation’s seaports between January and June 2023.
He added that the authority had been recording growth in export since 2019.
“In 2019, the ports recorded about 2.8 million metric tonnes of export, and it increased to 3.8 million metric tonnes in 2020. The export volume grew in 2021 to 3.79 million metric tonnes, and over 5.1 million metric tonnes in 2022.
“We need the Customs to reduce the time it takes to scan and inspect cargo because the faster it takes, the earlier the importer and exporters take their goods,” he said.
Bello-Koko noted that the collaboration with the NCS had helped NPA in achieving the feat.
He said, “NPA’s responsibility is to handle the logistics issue as relates to the delivery of cargo to ports, reviewing the cargo and also ensuring that it is loaded for the voyage. We encouraged the terminal operators to create hinterland aggregation points and dedicated spaces for export within the port terminals, but we need to realise that the ports are very small and, therefore, there are capacity issues.
“So, what we did was to create export processing terminals and the export processing terminals are one-stop shops where you consolidate, test, weigh, and pack it and then go straight into the ports. What the Customs did for us is to create an export command.
This means there are individuals responsible for all export problems that you can relate with,” he enunciated.
Earlier, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Ezra Yakusak, said Nigeria had a non-oil export performance of $4.8bn in 2022, which was the largest since the creation of NEPC in 1976.