…As Chamber of Shipping lauds NPA over harbour dues slash***
The Nigeria Agribusiness Register Networking (AgNet), a business outfits says the nation’s untapped shea butter is capable of yielding $2 billion (about N721 trillion) annually.
Mr Roland Oroh, the Managing Director of AgNet, highlighted this at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, while trying to sensitise Nigerians on the potential of the shea butter products in the country, backing his position with the outcome of research conducted by the company.
Oroh said that AgNet as an investment facilitation platform of Commodity Development Initiative (CDI) was founded some years ago working with public and private sector partners to support development in Nigeria including increasing investment in agriculture.
According to him, a Global Shea Alliance (GSA) briefing of the 6th International Shea Industry Conference revealed that Nigeria has the largest number of shea trees in the world.
Oroh said that the country hosts over 60 per cent of shea trees but failed to harness its full potential through value chain initiative to enter the global market.
He said that AgNet had shown a great concern over the discovered value chain and had concluded plans to host a larger conference to brief Nigerians on the potential of shea to the economy.
“AgNet through its monthly agribusiness networking events is facilitating investments into Nigeria that will help the country to gain control of a greater share of the world`s shea butter market”, he stated further.
In the meantime, the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping on Wednesday commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for the recent 10 percent harbour dues slash, for vessels using the Eastern Ports of Warri, Port Harcourt, and Calabar.
Its Director-General, Mrs Obiageli Obi indicated this in Lagos, saying the gesture would have a very positive impact of the sector, particularly that of encouraging shippers to use the Ports more frequently.
Obi described the measure as an excellent policy, noting that the strategy would also encourage to address the perennial gridlock at the Apapa port.
She said that the gridlock had adversely affected port transactions in the two ports in Apapa.
“The policy of Ease of doing Business especially at the ports will now have meaningful bearing on the Nigeria Shipping public.
“With this incentive, shippers will divert cargoes to the near inactive ports.
“After all, about 80 per cent of the cargoes that will call at the ports located in that zone will end up in markets around the area.
“This measure will divert the traffic being experienced in the Lagos ports to the eastern ports thereby providing a permanent solution to the four-year-old vehicular traffic gridlock that has defied several measures to check it,” she said.
According to her, the measure which has been long awaited, will eventually reduce the huge cost of transactions experienced by both importers and transporters at the Apapa ports.
She added that the economics of scale of the measure was legion as it would help revamp the economy of the host communities and make the prices of goods in the market competitive.