By Lawani Mikairu
Anambra State Government and her partner, ABX World, a Nigerian based courier/cargo Company, in collaboration with Arik Air and Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), have commenced agro-allied export to European countries. The export is valued at over $5.2 billion annually.
ABX World is an EU certified (EUC) cargo agent, and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) “Authorised Cargo Agent”.
Speaking on the development, Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Honourable Afam Mbanefo, said that the government’s penchant for agricultural development was to eliminate poverty, create job and improve the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state.
According to Mbanefo, “As a people oriented administration, Governor Willie Obiano has always sought for ways to create security, create good road network, create night life; these are things that will get people involve, bring in investors and tourism. Now, the agro-allied export is another testament to the Government unrelenting efforts to ensure Anambra State farmers do not lack market to sell their products.
“It is very imperative to note that before commencing the exports, the farmers through their cooperative societies received training and certification. In other words, we are confident that these products like pumpkin leaf (Ugu), and others will meet the market standard. As a government we are happy about this new development and we are thankful to other facilitators like ABX World,” the Commissioner said.
Confirming this to newsmen in Lagos, ABX World Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Captain John Okakpu, said that the gesture was capable of generating jobs, eliminating poverty and restoring investors’ confidence in the State.
Capt. Okakpu added that they are working with other partners, Arik Air and SAHCOL to ensure that about seventy-five (75) farm products of which Ugu- pumpkin leaf tops the list, are exported from Nigeria to Europe and rest of the world. He expressed optimism that the project will create millions of jobs in the country as more States queue-in into it.
He said: “When we entered into agreement with them, we discovered that they have gone very far. For instance, the State has over 1400 corporative societies and they have gone to the extent of training most of the farmers and also the certification of the corporative societies.
“The next step was the geo-mapping of the area for easy identification of the farmlands from any part of the world. This is a sure step to curb the incessant rejection of agro-allied produce from Nigeria at the European and the rest of the world markets.
“The EU certified trainers were in Nigeria about three months ago. So, after that training and certification programme, the participants are guaranteed of three years contract to supply agro-allied produce to Europe and can use it for the rest part of the world.
He said that ABX World will use its partnerships around the world to make a difference, “create agricultural revolution whereby we bring in the off-takers to take agricultural products as long as they meet the international standard and requirements”.