Fed Govt Targets Cargo Centres to Grow Export

May 6, 2024

The Federal Government has commenced discussions with private sector investors and supranational entities on how to attract infrastructure to develop cargo centres across the country to drive the export of agro and allied produce.

The major plank to determine the proposed cargo hubs/centres, it was learnt, would be relative comparative advantage.

The interface, a source familiar with the development said, was part of the brief of the new Directorate of Cargo Services in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), which has almost arrived at the template for investors’ engagement.

The source hinted that the directorate was reaching out to prospective investors, which were expected to take advantage of the move.

To drive the agenda, FAAN, it was learnt, had unveiled an initiative described as : ”Airports for exports“, to pull in players in the ground handling cargo processing space – state governments – which have constructed airports and other air transport infrastructure to invest in facilities that will improve the viability of the airport/cargo hub.

The source hinted that FAAN was working with the relevant trade facilitation agencies of the government to tap into opportunities that could be explored from some of the airports.

Airports in Katsina, Makurdi, Minna, have been declared by the Federal Government as Special Economic Zones.

Some of the prospective investors, it was learnt, were finalising discussions with some state governments on the modalities for securing land for the utilisation of cattle and its by-products.

Officials of the airport authority, who pleaded not to be named in print, said plans were afoot to drive the partnership beyond airports in the North.

The official said: ”FAAN plans to seek similar partnerships in other airports.The strategies involved will be unveiled as we move along.

“We are looking at many options, part of which will include driving traffic flow into airports that run daylight operations, increase infrastructure to make them run 24 hours.”

Investigations showed that the Plateau State Government has concluded plans to provide support infrastructure at the Jos Airport to develop agrocargo.

A sourced hinted that the airport authority was already reaching out to Taraba, Kebbi, and Jigawa states, which have airports in their domain to support efforts to turn these infrastructure into cargo hubs.