* Port-bound warehousing system
* Initiative expected to reduce loss by 30%
* 12 locations identified, project may start Q1-2020
By Codratus Godson
Many have always said if Nigerians can setle down to think and plan, no problem would defeat the nation. Now, an innovative warehousing system has been discovered to cut down losses from trucking to the seaports.
Nigeria is set to drastically reduce losses to exporters by 30 per cent through a new initiative called Domestic Export Warehouse (DEW) system. This aims to cut down time from agric produce zones to the ports for export drastically by completing export processes at the DEWs (warehouses) for fast trucking in sealed containers to the port of export.
The scheme would involve setting up strategic warehouses in at least 12 locations in Nigeria with geo-political spread where all agencies involved in export processing would attend to the produce and seal it for export, only for trucks to take over and run swiftly to the port of exit. No government agency would dare touch the export-ready cargo.
At the port, the truck would not wait for one minute because it would have been captured digitally and cleared ahead.
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) which developed the initiative said it is going round Nigeria to train exporters and relevant groups on how to operate DEW. The essence is to make Nigeria more competitive in terms of export.
The International Trade Centre has since determined that most countries including Nigeria suffer about 35 per cent loss in value of export products caused by logistics alone, meaning delays in transporting goods to the ports from the hinterlands and other locations where the agric produce are available. It was gathered that DEW would reduce the loss to about five per cent.
According to the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, DEW is sequel to the One-State-One-Product (OSOP) scheme of the FG which tries to give each state a crop of best comparative advantage for export, and support such state.
Awolowo, who was represented by an assistant director, Afolabi Bello, most times, the goods perish on the way from far-flung locations such as Kano and Kastina with more delays at the ports due to protocols.
Now, he said, the trucks would be exempted from any stop or search not even at the ports as the containers would just walk into waiting vessels.
Nigerians would stop suffering rejection of their exports or reduction of prices by their foreign partners who would be angry with constant failure of Nigerian suppliers meeting targets.
Now, Awolowo said in Port Harcourt, Nigerian exports would meet international time lines and be competitive. He spoke at the one day stakeholders session on DEW at Aldgate Hotels in the Garden City. He talked about urgent need to diversify the economy.
He stated; “The NEPC has been at the fore-front of implementing the Federal Government economic diversification programme. This necessitated development of a bold economic renaissance strategy, the Zero-Oil Plan, aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy. One of the key components to drive this initiative is the One-State-One-Product (OSOP) programme. OSOP emphasizes massive production and steady supply base for exportable agricultural products across the 36 states and FCT.
“Nigeria has been unable to convert its enormous comparative advantage in production of many agricultural primary produce to competitive advantage in the global market place as a result of supply chain constraints. The supply chain challenges (storage, logistics, documentation, etc.), are very important in ensuring timely delivering of exportable products to buyers and importers, and also a critical factor in complying with export orders. The ability to resolve these challenges will go a long way in addressing supply chain gaps in the export value chain, and substantially increase non-oil export volume/value by between 25%-30% as projected by the International Trade Center (ITC).
“The Council’s quest to mitigate export-related supply chain constraints necessitated the proposal for the setting up of Domestic Export Warehouse (DEW). The DEW is expected to reduce the cost of doing business for MSME exporting companies, and also be a one-stop Transit Facility/Terminal, where pre-shipment activities like packaging/labeling, aggregation, fumigation, pre-shipment inspection, etc., of export designated agricultural produce in preparation for ultimate transportation to the ports prior to eventual shipment to export destinations. This initiative is also aligned to the Federal Government Ease-of-Doing-Business programme.”
He stated that the DEW concept, if functional will contribute to stimulation of export-related economic activities, and other advantages such as a streamlined export procedure for agricultural produce; reliable and available data on agricultural export (volume and value) which will form the fulcrum for economic development; increased global market share for Nigerian exportable agricultural produce due to increased competitiveness; attract investors and investment into the non-oil exports sector; stimulates increased ancillary services related to non-oil export (logistics, documentation, analysis, etc.); and provide a platform for interface between export related agencies and the export practitioners”.
He said operationalization of the DEW concept is envisaged to be a game-changer in the non-oil supply chain, and also promotes operational/managerial effectiveness leading to export sustainability.
The south-south zonal coordinator of NEPC, Joe Itah, told newsmen that Port Harcourt was chosen as centre to train exporting and intending ones because of the spike in export interest and nearness to some seaports of interest.