A cashew nuts exporter, Mathew Obot, has appealed to the Federal Government to provide storage facilities at the country’s seaports to enhance preservation of commodities before export.
Obot made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria last Friday in Lagos.
He said that the absence of such facilities at the country’s ports was having negative bearing on export of produce and was discouraging many people from continuing with produce trade.
The exporter, while considering the feasibility of fresh tomatoes export as being championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that absence of storage facilities was the bane of the trade.
“Because of the paucity of the facilities, I do keep my produce far away from the port for preservation before transporting it to the port when the vessel is ready to sail.
“This process is double expenses; instead of taking it direct to the port from the places I bought it, I have to take it to another location for preservation.
“Many of my colleagues who cannot bear the cost of logistics involved in the business are no longer trading in it. Even we who are in it are just trying to exist,’’ he lamented.
He said that for the country to get it right in the balance of trade in the area of produce export, such facilities needed to be in place.
Obot added that the sector would create the more needed jobs in the value chain and encourage influx of foreign exchange and less pressure on the dollar as being witnessed currently.
According to him, apart from tomatoes, there are many other produce for which Nigeria has comparative advantages in the world market.