The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, (NAHCO) PLC, has announced a significant investment of N1 billion in the establishment of the Export Processing Centre (EPC) in Lagos. The Group Managing Director, Indranil Gupta, revealed this development while addressing journalists in Lagos over the weekend. Gupta also disclosed the company’s plans to replicate similar facilities in its Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Enugu stations.

Emphasizing NAHCO’s dedication to the export sector, Gupta explained that the EPCs aim to standardize the export processing system. The Lagos centre serves as a pilot, and Gupta mentioned that the company would consider expanding EPCs to other locations based on the results and success achieved in Lagos.

Gupta outlined the concept behind the EPCs, stating, “The idea is that Nigerian products will be in one shop where they will be well sorted, arranged, and packaged before being transported abroad.” He expressed optimism about the potential of Nigeria becoming the food basket of the continent, provided producers and farmers are aware of the continent’s capabilities. Gupta emphasized the profitability of exporting over importing, citing the benefits of foreign exchange.

Addressing challenges related to Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Gupta highlighted that the depreciation of the naira has led to increased operating costs, affecting the importation of handling equipment. He expressed hope for an improvement in purchasing power, which would contribute to increased input volumes and attract more airlines to Nigeria.

Group Executive Director of NAHCO, Saheed Lasisi, underscored the company’s focus on spearheading the exportation business. He mentioned that the EPCs would serve as crucial links with farmers and serious exporters, with training programs and identification of major airports for expansion. Lasisi expressed optimism about the improvement of purchasing power in the country.

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