Posted by News Express | 10 September 2022 | 431 times
Stakeholders in the aviation and Cargo business in Nigeria on Thursday highlighted multiplicity of charges, bureaucratic bottlenecks, among others as some of the challenges militating against the development of aviation cargo business in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, (NEPZA) specifically noted that its findings showed that 11 out of 16 sundry charges collected from exporters at the airports and other ports of entry are illegal.
This is just as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it is processing 14 airports to start full operation as cargo airports.
Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba spoke with other stakeholders in the Cargo export value chain at the Second day of the Chinet Aviacargo conference in Lagos.
The conference brought together stakeholders in the aviacargo value chain including NAFDAC, Quarantine Services, SON, among other relevant stakeholders to discuss why Nigeria is losing out in the $250bn agro-export market.
Represented by an Assistant Director, Investment Promotion and Investment Service, Mr. Augustine Chinedu, the NEPZA CEO in his presentation noted that foreign Cargo airlines and local exporters are fast abandoning multi-billion dollars of Nigerian exports over “stifling official bottlenecks” at the airports.
He said the bottlenecks must be removed to stop the current loss of revenue by the Federal Government.
According to him, the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) created by the government around Airports provided a one-stop shop for Exporters to leverage on..
He disclosed that the Zones provided duty-free, tax-free Export of raw materials, one-stop approvals for all permits, operating license and 100 percent repatriation of capitals for foreign capitals.
He stated that the authority is working “professionally” with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to resolve all grey areas in the operation of the economic zone.
He said, “Recent survey indicates that among the 16 charges collected from exporters at the airports, only five are officially recognised. Nigeria’s import to export airfreight ratio imbalance stood at 87:13 and this is resulting in the loss of at least about $250bn in agro-export produce to the country.”
Export Group Chairman, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bosun Solarin lamented that there are too many confusing agencies operating at the airports which is stifling efforts at exporting locally produced items outside the country.
She stated that many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have been discouraged by the Nigerian business environment worsened by bureaucratic bottlenecks, adding that any country that doesn’t take the interest of MSME into account is doomed for failure. Regulators are meant to facilitate trade but they will end up killing trade.
However, the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu disclosed that the authority has concluded discussions with NEPZA to understand the operations of the free trade/economic zones.
Yadudu disclosed that 14 airports are now being processed fully to start operating as cargo airports, saying, “We have terminals being developed. We Lagos, Portharcourt, Abuja. 14 agro-allied airports dedicated for cargo.” (Daily Trust)
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