By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Shippers Council has said that it facilitated the movement of 800 trucks of export cargoes which has been stranded at Nigerian port terminals for several weeks.
Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr Hassan Bello Bello this while speaking with Maritime journalists in Lagos.
He said the 800 trucks were carrying perishable goods but they were denied entry into the terminals until the Shippers Council had to intervene.
Bello urged the Federal Government and all stakeholders to focus more on export, saying that this is what would sustain Nigerian economy post COVID-19.
According to him, Nigeria has lost so much revenue in crude oil export, and importation has equally dwindled seriously due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Export is going to be our main line now because import is going to trickle because there is a lot of disruptions in the international supply chain. Even China will not export what it used to export, they will like to keep it for domestic use”
“Now is the time to look inwards and inward is not as in diversification but deliberate attempt to look at where we have comparative advantage and that is exportation”
“We can’t import now and even if we import, the throughput will dwindle.
“We have lost revenue in oil and due to the vulnerability of oil, we have to look at exportation. Nigeria is vast and so rich we would have been a substitute for China for raw materials which we are going to process. That is why we are calling on the government to focus on export”
“There were about 800 trucks outside some terminals but Shippers’ Council has brokered with the terminals and now these trucks are going in.
“We want these exports to be evacuated because some of these exports are perishable and we cannot afford to have them on the roads.
“Export is very important. For non-oil revenue in 2019, Nigeria got N2.5 trillion, in 2016, it was N344 billion, 2017, N629 billion, in 2018, we got N1.1 trillion. You can see it is rising. Then why can’t we build on this?
“There is no other time to develop our export than now,”