By DAPO OLAWUNI
Diamond Star Ports and Terminal Limited, operators of the Lillypond Export Terminal has said that it takes a maximum of 48-hours to process an export container at the terminal for onward delivery to the Apapa and Tin Can ports.
Speaking exclusively with DAILY TREND on Monday, Managing Director of the Diamond Star terminal, Mr Olatunji Baale confirmed that all the government agencies involved in export clearance are located inside the terminal, just like a one-stop-shop.
He assured that any exporter coming to Lillypond Export Terminal is bound to be attended to in a very quick and fast manner.
Mr Baale stated that after the terminal inauguration by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in November 2022, it has been testing the waters and delivering exports to the port.
He however said that the official commencement of operations is expected to commence by the end of February 2023.
“Processing an export container here takes maximum of 48hours. Once you have done your booking, and you are heading to this place for your processing, you can be rest assured that we cannot exceed 48hours.
“We have been handling bulk cargoes and stuffing of export cargoes into empty containers for onward delivery to the port terminals. Such activities have been ongoing. We have also been having already stuff containers coming in for examination, after which they are transported to the port.
There are no delays, and that is the good side of this terminal, we have all the government agencies involved in export clearance in our terminal, just like a one-stop-shop, so any container coming here is bound to be attended to in a very quick and fast manner.
“At the moment, we have been testing the grounds and delivering, we are believing that before the end of the month, the rail would start working and it would be a second option to the roads.
“The terminal was inaugurated in November 2022. In December we started skeletal operations and up till now, it is still skeletal, however it has continued to increase gradually, our hope is that we would get to the momentum eventually.
“Because of the election coming, a number of the exporters are telling us that they would only commence their process after the election.
“The actual kick-off of operations at the export processing terminals that were setup have not yet commenced. We believe that by the time we commence, activities would peak.
“Before the end of the month we shall commence, if I go by the information at my disposal. NPA has done inauguration, but the set time for commencement of the operation is month end.
“The export processing terminals were set up based on exporters outcry to the government for them to have a location that can be one umbrella for processing of export documents, where all government agencies would be assembled in one place.
“For those that have been coming here, they can always tell the story of prompt service without delay. The essence is to reduce the bottleneck and challenges of exporters.
“The government believes that export needs to be given special attention so as to drive and increase the level of export leaving the country” he concluded
Our correspondent reports that Diamond Star was licensed by NPA as the operator of the Lilypond Export Terminal located at Ijora-Apapa, making the company the ‘central pre-gate’ for processing all export containers going to Lagos Ports through roads and railway.
It has two terminals – Okota and the Lilypond. The Okota terminal will serve Tin-Can Island Port while the Lilypond will serve Apapa port.