The delays caused by cumbersome clearing procedure of cargo by the Nigeria Customs Service and the congestion on the port access roads came to the fore again yesterday in Abuja as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, asked concerned authorities to do something about the situation.
Speaking against the backdrop of delays experienced by some exporters of cashew in processing their goods, Ogbeh said the situation negates the Federal Government’s desire to diversify the Nigerian economy.
He said, “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 NPA (Nigerian 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 advised exporters to process their cashew nut before export as the processed nuts is worth $10,000 per ton and $1,200 per ton for raw ones.
“We must begin to add value to the commodity by processing it before eventual export.
“So in the next two years we will no longer export raw cashew nuts, but roast the cashew nuts for export.”
Ogbeh also said that Nigeria shipped a total of $600,000 worth of raw cashew nuts to Vietnam alone in 2016.
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