ABX World, Arik Air, SAHCOL plan to harness Agro-Allied sub-sector worth over $52.2bn

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ABX World, a courier/cargo firm, in collaboration with Arik Air and Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) are planning to re-positioning Nigeria’s agro-allied products exports to markets across Europe and the rest of the world.

Speaking to Aviation journalists in Lagos on Monday, John Okakpu, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ABX World Nigeria, described the revolutionary project as one that will leapfrog the agricultural sector in the country while boosting the supply chain involving transportation, logistics, aviation, packaging, among others.

He said such move would also create jobs for the teaming youths.

Okakpu said that both Arik Air and SAHCOL are EU certified with ACC3 and RA3 certifications respectively, adding that  such is an testimony of the acceptability of EU Governments of compliance of ABX World and the partners.

According to him, already, the courier company has reached out to the Federal Government to leverage global agro-allied sub-sector while breaking the challenges pose by mono-produce nature the country practices at the moment.

“Assuming one million out of over three million Nigerians living in the United Kingdom make purchases of food items from Nigeria at the cost of $100 weekly even with the current exchange rate, Nigeria cannot make less than $52.2billion from this sub-sector annually”, he said.

While stressing the need for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to jettison interest on the oil and gas sector  which he said faces a bleak future, Okakpu added, “We know the price of crude oil today. Nigeria is largely a mono-dimension economy focused on crude oil extract, export and import. Our banking sector is no way to be reckoned with the rest of the world. God wants to re-position Nigeria, which is the reason we are faced with the crude oil price downfall.

“People like me would prefer the crude oil sales for $10 per barrel, because that will wake us up from slumber. Before crude oil Nigeria was, but we lost our focus because of that. For Nigeria to balance her budget at the moment, crude oil has to sell for $128 per barrel. How do we make up the difference? Is it by producing more? Do we have the capacity to produce more to make up the difference? We have no choice than to go back to the foundation which is agriculture.

To bring about the required turnaround, he said that the firm has engaged top supply chains in Europe, as about 60% of the agro-allied produce shall be exported to the European market; “get farmers through their respective corporative societies for training on how and get certified on the supply chain processes such as the kind of pesticides to use. Through that, they can be guaranteed three year of supply”.

He further stressed on the need for establishing purpose-driven cargo facilities, strategically built around passenger airports to attract and sustain airlines’ interest in the business.

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