Tin Can Island Port, one of the largest ports in the country, has reported a total of 161,285.72 metric tonnes of agricultural commodities’ export volume in 2017.
The figures represent over 150 per cent increase above the 55,000 metric tonnes processed through the port in the preceding year.
Making the disclosure, the Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Port Command, Mr. Yusuf Bashar, said that cocoa exports ranked highest on the list of commodities exported through the port last year.
Analysing the trend of the agro exports further, the Area Controller explained that cocoa bean, recorded 33,294 metric tonnes and was followed by sesame seed and rubber, which recorded 15,189.78 and 15,072.84 metric tonnes, respectively.
He listed other exported commodities to include, rubber, milk, frozen shrimps, hibiscus flowers pepper, soybean and ginger, among others.
In his remarks, the Deputy Controller of Customs in charge of Exports, Audu Ochuma, attributed the remarkable improvements in the volume of agro commodities exports at the port to increased agricultural production in the country.
Ochuma, who expressed optimism that the volume of Nigerian export of agricultural commodities would increase in 2018 if the Federal Government sustains its various incentives to farmers.
He expatiated: “Over 5,000 duty-free commodities and items can be exported to the United States of America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. A United States embassy official had advised us at a function that Nigeria should concentrate on agricultural products and other specific areas outside technology, as we have a better advantage with the former than the latter.
“For instance, if we pursue exporting made-in-Nigeria radio, television and other household electronics, the tendencies are that we won’t meet the standards required by the advanced countries for now. So it’s better we focus more on areas where we are better off than them”, Ochuma added.
The Deputy Controller pointed out further that under the Economic Community of West African States’ Trade Liberalisation Scheme (TLS) Nigeria had been exporting alcoholic beverages, milk and other finished products to ECOWAS sub-regional countries in order to explore its zero duty regime benefits.