Posted by Sade Williams
A N250million packaging factory is to be built at the Murtala Mohammad Airport Lagos by Free On Board (FOB) Goods and logistics in partnership with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and other international partners.
The factory is aimed at building what is called Brand Nigeria, which means any item, any shipment that is leaving the shores of Nigeria must be properly labelled, properly packed so that the produce, the producer and the nation will be showcased on the international shores.
The Chief executive, FOB, Mr. Oluwajimi Adebakin who disclosed this to reporters in an interview said, discussions are at its final stage with NAHCO towards the commencement of the packaging project as the site has already been secured.
He explained that the brand Nigeria project which he described as a national assignment, is being embarked on to ensure that products exported from Nigeria meet international standards through proper labeling and packaging.
“Yes, our packaging is a major issue but we are looking at it seriously and we have seeing a situation by latest December, first quarter of 2021 God permitting, it will be a thing of the past, it will not be a question that you don’t have an option for packaging, it will be an option that you have elected not to use the packaging facility that has been made available Free On Board by NEPC and other stakeholders” , he said.
Adebakin also disclosed that Government is planning to build what is called domestic warehouses across the six geo-political zones of the country to cater to exports and help to decongest the Lagos area.
He said the domestic warehousing facilities when completed will have internal storage facilities, packaging facilities and temperature control facilities for perishables and non-perishables.
The gesture Mr. Adebakin stressed, will create gainful employment for the youth and government will create the enabling environment through its zero oil policy to encourage the youths in works that would meet standards for export.
“The government has finally woken up and we thank the President for taking this bold initiative to let us start looking inwards, we want to regain what we lost in the 50’s, lets us go back to were our comparative advantage lies.”
He added that, “The main thrust of the zero oil policy is to ensure first and foremost, we create gainful employment for our youths. Nigeria is highly talented, from entertainment to music, culture, you name it, what government is now proposing to do is to create the Enabling environment, it is going to be a thing of the past for somebody to say I am not employed, it is now going to be a question that you have refused to be gainfully employed.”
The FOB boss also emphasized that the credit facility offered by the FOB would motivate Nigerians interested in export to come on board.
“If it is your designing of shoes that you can do, we are creating warehouses off shores of Nigeria as well where by we will be displaying made in Nigeria products and produce and this is why we are saying we are providing this credit facility whereby you bring your freight, we will send it out on your behalf, when it gets to the destination, we will clear it, we will provide warehousing, we will provide distribution and after the products has been sold, the money will be repatriated to the exporter in Nigeria and from there, we will deduct our cost of operations.”
“This is why we believe that 100 tonnes of cargo on a daily basis is achievable in a nation of over 260 million people if only 10million of us play active role in this endeavor, we will be doing more than 100 tonnes definitely a day and we see an opportunity to reduce unemployment drastically across the 774 local government of Nigeria”, he added.
He called for subsidy for FAAN to ensure that charges are waived on goods as a way of encouraging exporters to export goods, adding that growing export remained the only solution to the challenges faced by the country.
Adebakin urged Nigerian exporters to register with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council for easy movement of goods.