Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Funmilayo Olotu, has said that Nigeria needs more export activities to boost its forex inflow, as it is needed to enhance economic growth and development.

Olotu, who commended the over N245 billion export trade recorded by the Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa command in 2021, said it is a laudable achievement for Nigeria’s economy, especially at a time government needs more foreign exchange earnings for the country.

She said that being an import-dependent country is not helping the nation’s economy in terms of productivity, which is why the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has designated the Lilypond Container Terminal as the final processing centre for all export cargoes to go into the vessels at the port corridor for immediate exportation.

The port manager said in due course, the Nigeria Customs Service and other agencies of government would be informed of the take-off date, noting that a lot of renovations are ongoing at the terminal.

“Whatever is done and sealed at the terminal can now approach the port without any stoppage along the port corridor, it is just for the containers to come into the port and go directly onto the vessels.

“When we are an import-dependent nation, it is not building up our economy, it is when we can export our goods and they reach the destination in the right quality and quantity that we can begin to compete effectively among ports in the subregion,” she said.

Olotu, however, decried the attitude of some truck drivers who she said are frustrating the NPA’s effort to ensure that export goods do not only get to the port on time but are delivered in the right quality and quantity.

According to her, rather than approach the port directly, the truck drivers now hang around the port corridor looking for more businesses and Terminal Delivery Orders (TDO).

“We need more exports to build our economy. At this point, we need the support of all stakeholders in the maritime industry to increase our export capacity,” she added.