By Ajibola Abayomi
January 4, 2018
A total of 162,285.72 metric tonnes of agricultural products were exported through Tin Can Island Port in 2017.
The figure was over a hundred and fifty percent increase above the 55,000 metric tonnes recorded at the port in 2016.
Customs Area Controller in charge of Tin Can Island Port Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Yusuf Bashar disclosed that cocoa topped the list of commodities exported last year.
He listed other exported commodities include pepper, soya bean, cocoa, rubber, milk, frozen shrimps, hibiscus, flowers, ginger, tomato paste, shea butter, tiger nuts and many more.
The controller revealed that in achieving the feat, the compliant import and export trade were promptly facilitated under his watch to boost the economy without compromising national security.
According to him, cocoa beans, which was the highest exported agricultural product at the port last year had a total of 33,294 metric tonnes followed by sesame seed and rubber which recorded 15,189.78 and 15,072.84 respectively.
Shedding more lights on the export cargoes, Audu Ochuma, Deputy Controller of Customs in charge of Export added that the increase was indicative of a leap in participation in agricultural activities.
He said the results showed an improvement in economic activities in the sector adding that export requires being more meticulous than importation.
Ochuma noted that it was easier dealer with import than export because exporters are expected to meet standards required by countries being exported to from the country of origin.
He expressed optimism that volume of Nigerian exports of agricultural products would increase in 2018 saying that nation was yet to fully take advantage of the United States African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).
”Over 5000 duty free commodities and items can be exported to the United States of America under the AGOA initiative. A US Embassy official had advised us at a function that Nigeria should concentrate on agricultural products and other specific areas outside technology or ICT products as we stand better advantage with the former than the latter.
”For instance, if we pursue exporting made in Nigeria radio, television and other household electronics, tendencies are that we won’t meet the standards required by advanced countries for now” he said.