• Says it will reduce loss of revenue from agricultural produce
THE Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed said, In Ilorin, recently, that provision of standard cargo airports will drastically reduce loss of revenue from Nigerian agricultural produce, at a one-day National Airfreight Summit held in Ilorin with the theme: “The Diversification of Nigeria’s Economy: Role of Cargo Airports in the Exportation of Perishables, Kwara State in Focus”, organised by Kwara State Government and Nigerian Shippers’ Council under the umbrella of Federal Ministry of Transportation in collaboration with Airfreight Stakeholders Forum.
Ahmed who noted that Nigeria farmers are producing large quantities of perishable products but there is no means of transporting them quickly to international markets where demands are high, reiterated that if cargo airports were established in the hinterlands of the country, it would reduce waste in the sector and that would improve the individual’s and country’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said an efficient, flexible and dynamic airfreight system would promote the growth of the nation’s economy and improve her global competitiveness, adding that airfreight could be an important catalyst in the diversification of the nation’s economy through expansion of Nigeria’s non-oil export market to earn greater revenue for the government.
Ahmed stressed the need to encourage air freighting activities in order to support farmers in the country and produce more farm produce to meet demands of the international market and urged the Federal Government to invest in domestic cargo business to create more job opportunities for Nigerian youths and cushion the effect of the harsh economic environment.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, in his speech, said Nigeria needs to consider and develop airfreight as a viable means of transporting farm produce to international markets, stressing that the Nigerian economy was rapidly getting integrated into the global arena as the country’s local delicacies were in great demand abroad by Nigerians in Diaspora.
Bello said that air cargo transportation specialised in movement of perishable goods and high value products requiring increased security and noted that the objective of the summit was to sensitise stakeholders to the potential that abound in the airfreight sector and for diversification of the nation’s economy. He thus tasked government and all stakeholders to consciously promote the sector so as to develop the national economy.