The Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka has said that the National Handling Aviation Company (NAHCO AVIANCE) would be a great partner in the Federal Government’s agro – based export programme.
Speaking when the Board of the Company led by its Chairman, Mallam Suleiman Yahyah paid him a courtesy call in his Abuja office, Chidoka said with the capacity and efficiency of the Cargo handling company, government could be rest assured that the expected agricultural output would be well taken care of in terms of export capabilities.
Promising to contact his counterpart in the Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, to see how the Agric Ministry and nahco can work together, Chidoka pledged to bring the two sides together to facilitate a partnership that would work well for the development of the country’s economy.
Chidoka said there is much to be done to improve the cargo industry in Nigeria commending nahco aviance for leading the improvement path.
The minister wondered why the country does not have an air cargo system that moves fresh food stuffs from one part of the country to the other same day when the foodstuffs and fruits are still very fresh.
“Why can’t tomatoes be moved by air from Yola to Lagos,” he asked adding that these are the kinds of things the aviation sector should be able to accomplish.
He also envisaged a situation where the agro sector would be able to join hands with nahco in maximizing the opportunities that exist in the implementation of the Company’s Free Trade Zone licence.
The way it is being implemented, the NAHCO’s Free Trade Zone allows for importation and exportation of goods in a kind of borderless environment. The FTZ allows Nigeria’s agro-allied products to be exported to Europe and America with Lagos serving as the regional hub in the process.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of nahco aviance, Yahyah had told the Minister that nahco plans to invest well in excess of USD500 in the development of its FTZ in the next five years. He pointed out that with the collaboration of government and nahco in the exportation of agro products, millions of employment would be created with many direct and indirect benefits to Nigerians.
He assured the minister that nahco aviance is ready to assist the minister in the task of moving the aviation sector forward. While restating that government does not have to involve itself in
running businesses, Chidoka assures that the infrastructure and the enabling environment would be provided to afford operators optimize their capabilities and efficiencies.
The Minister thanked the nahco’s team for coming adding that he hoped this would be the beginning of further engagement in his efforts to move the aviation sector forward.