Nigeria is exporting more products by air than it has ever done in the past and most of the products are meant for Nigerians who live abroad, THISDAY’s findings showed.
The development was confirmed by aviation handling companies, which stated that export of perishables and other Nigerian edible products was on the rise.
The Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCOL), Basil Agboarumi told THISDAY in a telephone chat that Nigerians in Diaspora long for Nigerian foods and other items, adding that Nigerian businessmen and women have risen to the occasion by providing and packaging these products according to required specification to export them.
As a handling company, Agboarumi said his organisation has the needed facilities to keep the product in the standard condition as required by each country it is to be exported to before such products are taken out of the country.
The SAHCOL boss said that most of the products are taken to Europe, the United States and other places and each country has its specifications for the screening and preservation of the products.
He also said the handling companies, which provide services for the export of these products, are expected to have certification that would qualify them to handle the exports.
He also acknowledged that the rate of export cannot be matched with the volume of imports but what is interesting is that there were not much exports few years ago, so the increase in the export of Nigerian products is a recent development.
“There are a lot of things that are being exported from Nigeria and these include farm produce; edibles, manufactured goods, hair extension and even vehicle spares that are exported to some countries in Africa.
“So now that export is rising, the handling companies ought to have certain facilities and to meet the standard of each exporting country.
“These requirements are known by Customs so they inspect the products to ensure they meet the standard of the countries they are being taken to.
“Other agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Quarantine and others inspect the products before they are packaged and loaded in aircraft and exported,” Agboarumi said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Mainstream Cargo Limited, Seyi Adewale, told THISDAY that Nigeria was building big business around the export market.
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He stated that airline cargo export has significantly increased, adding that most of the exports are going to the UK, where Nigeria has high population and also other parts of Europe.
“Airline cargo export has significantly increased. For example, one of the major cargo airlines only recently moved up its export tariff because it couldn’t cope with approximately 60 tonnes of general foodstuff item to UK.
“UK remains Nigeria’s primary destination of foodstuff followed by Germany and USA. In fact, German authorities appear to be placing strict restrictions on foodstuff items from Nigeria. Secondly, repair of spares, such as turbines are very significant exports out of Nigeria
“Another European carrier that uses half of its passenger aircraft belly for cargo moves principally foodstuff to both UK and Germany.
It moves converters/ fibers of an average of five tonnes per week to Brussels, Prague and Frankfurt and spare parts when they have available space Lastly, we have seen increase in perishables such as vegetables although this could be categorised under foodstuff. Nigeria is already building big business around the export market. For example, three consolidators in Nigeria are already moving approximately 80 tonnes of foodstuff per week from Nigeria,” he said.
THISDAY investigation also revealed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is helping businesses that are into export by easing the process and even engaging airlines with cargo planes to airlift the products to their intending destinations.
An entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bubex Foods, Miss Ijeoma Ndukwe who is into export of consumables, said recently that the company embarked on exportation of Bubex pap to Europe and America due to the encouragement received from the government.