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Nigeria can become a world class exporter of fresh farm produce if the export mechanism at the ports is completely overhauled. Speaking in an exclusive business session in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of Red Star Express Plc, Dr Sola Obabori, noted that popular Nigerian foods such as yams and garri can be profitably exported to Europe and America if the hindrances and multiplicity of regulators at the ports can be removed. According to him, this will not only boost Nigeria’s revenue base but would also give global acclaim to those foods.
Dr. Obabori suggested that the process of exporting agricultural produce should be drastically simplified urgently. “The export process is far too complicated and should be drastically simplified. Kenya, for example, are experiencing growth in their agricultural sector. The country exports fresh flowers and many other fresh agricultural products into the European markets and that has helped their economy tremendously. In terms of production, Nigeria has a bigger capacity than Kenya. However, with the complications experienced at the airports, our export capabilities are shackled.”
He added, “I am aware that there are various efforts going on right now to address this situation. Red Star Express Plc belongs to a number of reputable business associations that hold regular dialogues with the government to reduce the complexities at the ports. I am optimistic that these efforts will soon become fruitful.”
Speaking further, he mentioned Red Star’s efforts towards providing logistics services to support importers and exporters through the acquisition of new assets. “We have massively invested in new trucks and motorcycles as well as other essential assets. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have retooled successfully. We have cold-chain trucks that can move fresh produce from the farms to retail stores across the country. For example, if you run a poultry shop and you are producing your poultry products, we can support your company by using our Cold-Chain trucks to move those products from where they are produced to the retail stores where they can be sold to the final consumers.”
On the logistics industry and domestic front, the Red Star CEO appealed to the Federal Government to offer a more strategic support and create finance relief that will enable the sector to remain essential in driving trade and commerce. “The Government should substantially reduce import taxes for commercial vehicles, trucks, and spare parts as the impact of the devaluation of the naira has eroded the purchasing power of most organizations and weakened their ability to replace ageing assets.”
Red Star Express Plc is a Licensee of Federal Express (FedEx) Corporation, the world’s largest delivery solutions provider. It has over 150 offices in Nigeria; with international offices in Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and Benin Republic. Its network spans over 1,500 communities in Nigeria and 214 countries worldwide.
Red Star Express Plc is made up of 4 divisions and business units specializing in areas such as Express Delivery, Logistics, Freight, Outsourcing services, Supply Chain Management, E-Commerce Facilitation, Printing and Packaging, E-Archiving, as well as Agro Trade Logistics.
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