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Ogbeh appeals for speedy clearing of agricultural exports In ports

Minister of Agriculture and Riral Development, Audu Ogbeh
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of
Agriculture and Rural Development, has appealed to the Nigerian Ports Authority
(NPA) to ensure speedy evacuation and clearing of agricultural produce for export.

Ogbeh made the appeal in an interview
with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He was reacting to current delay in
evacuation of cashew nuts worth 300 million dollars for export to Vietnam.
He described the situation as
The minister said the development
negated the Federal Government’s desire to make the country an exporting
“It has been brought to our notice
that cashew nuts worth 300 million dollars destined for export to Vietnam have
been stuck in Lagos.
“And as we know, they are usually
locked in containers at high temperatures and if these cashew nuts remain there
for too long, they get spoil and that is extremely disturbing.
“It has happened before and this also
compromises our desire to become an exporting nation so we are very concerned.
“We have spoken to the Ports Authority
Managing Director and she told us that she will make every effort to do
something about it.
“We are appealing to them, to see what
they can do to speedily evacuate this product,’’ he said.
Ogbeh explained that the long term
solution to delay in the export of cashew is to stop the exportation of raw
“The solution to delay in the export
of cashew is to stop the exportation of raw nuts.
We must begin to add
value to the commodity by processing it before eventual export,” he said.
According to him, the ministry is working to organise credit for would
be processors to enable them process the cashew so that the business of selling
raw nuts would be totally eliminated.
“We are discussing this with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and with
any other agency that will support our initiative,” he said.
Corroborating, Mr Tola Faseru, the National President, National Cashew
Association of Nigeria (NCAN) told NAN that the development would become a
disaster if not addressed quickly.
Faseru who commended Ogbeh for responding swiftly to the woes of the
exporters, said the development is due to the ports inefficiency.
According to him, this is a big problem for cashew exporters because we
are in the season now and this portends a great danger to us.
“We want to thank the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development who
himself is a cashew stakeholder for showing concern.
“It shows his genuineness to ensure that agriculture is taken to the
next level. We hope that his concerns will bring a change very quickly if not,
there will be disaster.
“The road to the port is so bad to the extent that containers are
tripping off on the road.
“For almost one month, trucks are still on their way without entering
the ports and they are carrying goods that have tendency to perish as well as
deterioration in quality.
“It is so sad and killing and not much fund is being made available to
exporters. Thank God for NEXIM Bank that is showing sensitivity to get money to
exporters now,’’ he said.
He also appealed NPA to do everything within it power to ensure that the
cashew nuts get to their destination without further delay.(NAN)

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