Embrace Agri-export for economic upturn, expert tells FG

Captain John Okakpu, the CEO of ABX World and an expert in agricultural exports, has offered guidance to the Nigerian government, suggesting that a focus on agricultural exports is crucial to steering the nation’s economy out of its current downturn.

Expressing concern, he emphasised that the productive sector of Nigeria, particularly its industries, is underperforming, resulting in a low volume of exports that does little to bolster the strength of the Naira.

Consequently, Okakpu has recommended that the Nigerian government concentrate its efforts on boosting agricultural exports, citing agriculture as the most promising avenue for economic recovery.

Additionally, Okakpu stressed the necessity of involving the private sector to achieve these goals, stating, “Government intervention in this process, beyond creating a conducive environment and enacting regulations, is unlikely to yield positive results.”

To clarify, he pointed out that many exportable products in Nigeria require 3 to 6 months from planting to harvesting. Furthermore, he noted, “With the issuance of Phyto Sanitary Certifications by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (BAQS) and their submission to the customs portals of destination countries, customs clearance becomes significantly easier.”

Consequently, he urged airlines and sea shipping companies not to accept agricultural export shipments without prior approval from the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (BAQS).

He strongly cautioned, “Please refrain from dispatching any produce without the necessary approval from the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service. This measure will help prevent rejections of Nigerian agricultural exports.”

According to Okakpu, the establishment of commodity boards is another essential step. These boards would support Nigerian farmers and safeguard the value of their products.

He asserted, “We also need commodity boards to safeguard the interests of our farmers and protect the value of their products. Nigeria has been negatively impacted by fluctuations in global market prices, placing us at a disadvantage. This trend must be halted.”

He concluded, “We must take full control and responsibility for what we produce in Nigeria, rather than allowing others to dictate the value of our products.”


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