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SAHCO to invest in agric produce export


By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata

Ikeja, – Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc. (SAHCO) is to invest in agriculture produce export, to promote Nigeria’s agriculture value-chain.

The Managing Director of SAHCO Plc., Mr Basil Agboarumi, made the disclosure on Monday in Lagos at a forum with a team from ABX World and Agro Allied Solutions.

Agboarumi said that SAHCO would continue to ensure that farmers had a hitch-free export opportunity in Nigeria through the provision of world-class storage facilities and logistics support for farmers and exporters.

“SAHCO 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 inaugurated new scanning machines.

“We have also acquired state-of-the-art high loader, which has the capacity to load and offload up to 40 tons at a go,” Agbarumi said.

Also speaking, Mr Jide Kafidipe, Head of Cargo Services of SAHCO Plc., disclosed that 75 per cent of agricultural produce were wasting in Nigeria, due to a lack of storage facilities.

He stated that SAHCO had a massive cold storage facility in readiness for taking care of perishable items, which according to him is a good starting point to curb wastage.

According to him, the facility is capable of handling 16 to 35 aircraft pallets and SAHCO is also planning to invest in packaging of perishable goods.

Kafidipe said that one of the reasons farmers were not taking advantage of export facilities was because of the bottlenecks caused by multiple checks on the items by various government agencies.

Also speaking, the Deputy Comptroller of Customs in SAHCO Export, Mr Abdulhameed Mohammed, explained the rationale behind the multiple checks by various agencies.

He noted that the Clean Certificate Inspection among others, were issued to exporters, based on investigations and cooperation between some of the agencies.

The Managing Director of ABX World and Agro-Allied Solutions, retired Capt. John Okakpu, said Nigeria had over 12 products that were of export value and that the forum was aimed at how to diversify the country’s economy.

Okakpu noted that Nigeria was blessed with good weather and soil unlike some countries exporting agro products.

He said agencies’ documentations were however, cumbersome and causing serious setbacks.

“In the United States and Europe, the agencies are not as numerous and the process is not as cumbersome.

“It takes an average of 72 hours to do documentations here in Nigeria after which the produce must have gone bad.”

He urged the government to review the policies to make things easy for exporters of agro produce.

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