The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has said domestic export warehouses, established in some states across the country will be fully patronised by stakeholders beginning from next year.
The Deputy Director, NEPC, Mr Benedict Itegbe, said this while speaking with the correspondent during a stakeholders sensitisation workshop in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Itegbe, who is also the Head of NEPC Exports Assistant Office, explained that the reason for the establishment of the warehouses was to relieve the exporters of the administrative bottlenecks associated with exportation at Lagos seaports.
He said that the workshop was meant to bring all the stakeholders together to create awareness about the facility. Itegbe added that some of the facilities were adjusting to the unique requirements of the zone where they are operating.
He said, “We are having this sensitisation to bring the stakeholders together to create awareness of this facility. Some of these facilities are adjusting to the unique requirements of the zone in which they are operating. While these processes are going on, we believe by next year, all these facilities would be properly patronised. Currently, we have nine domestic export warehouses that have been fully approved and are gradually beginning operations. We have in Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt, Kano and Kogi states”
He reiterated that the country was committed to developing the export sector in order to diversify the revenue base from oil economy which has been having a lot of disruption in the recent time.
He added, “So in order to diversify the economy we have to create awareness. We need to empower our exporters by creating critical physical infrastructure that will address supply chain constraints. When you talk about supply chain constraints, more than 85 per cent volume of our exports go through the seaport. We know there are a lot of congestion in our Lagos port. So because of those congestions and also the checks by several government agencies at various points, NEPC came up with the idea to engage all these regulators to create a concept called Domestic Export Warehouse. That would be located in various states, distributed evenly across the nation in a public-private partnership arrangement whereby it would come as a center for all exporters to bring their goods there. At these centers all those services that they would have had to do at Lagos ports. Everything will be done there. The Customs would be there, the shippers’ council will be there, Nigeria Police among others, all the documentation would be done there. It would reduce the risks in the export business and not be expensive. If you have any issue, it would be resolved at your vicinity there.”