The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (Nahco Aviance) is looking to tap into opportunities in Nigeria’s food export business in of support of the country’s plan to reduce its dependence on crude oil revenue.

The company said it was set to support the Federal Government in diversifying the economy by providing the infrastructure to boost food export businesses.

Tokunbo Fagbemi, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCO, explained that agric export business was one of the pet projects of the company’s new management where it sees huge potential.

“We are providing facilities that will encourage cold storage management,” she said in an emailed statement.

“In a few months, we are creating a cold storage hub for both existing and potential clients, including our new clients that want to trans-ship their goods through Nigeria with a bit of packaging,” she said.

According to the company, a lot of agricultural products exported are destroyed on arriving their destinations owing to inadequate storage facilities and this informed its decision to plug the gap in agric-export.

“We just got an approval to develop a facility in our packaging warehouse, which will tackle that challenge because it will help exporters to package their products at a particular temperature rate to reduce the incidence of rejection in the international markets,” Fagbemi said.

The company’s move is in line with the Federal government’s vision for agriculture to be a haven for investment as well as for integrating food production, storage, food processing and industrial manufacturing to establish the linkage necessary in the agricultural commodity value chain.

Nahco Aviance recalled a recent statement by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who declared that the value chain must consider the role of players from food production to consumption and design to empower the small holder producers to ensure that processors have good quality products for consumption.

This would ensure that processors have good quality products for consumption, it said.

Vice President Osinbajo had said that: “Agriculture sector was to exceed the one trillion dollars and create access to capital by investors to accessing value chain. Our agenda is to guarantee the vibrancy of the sector. Agriculture must be seen as a business and haven for investment and integrating food production, storage, food processing, and industrial manufacturing to establish the linkage necessary in the agricultural commodity value chain.”

To achieve its goals, Nahco Aviance said it recently invested some N1.9bn in equipment and technology that would enable improvement on its offerings to clients.

Also, the overhaul would help to replace ageing equipment which had increased maintenance cost due to high utilisation of fuel.

Nahco Aviance also announced its plan to provide a CEIV Pharma, which it said is a project that is designed by IATA to support the movement of pharmaceutical products via air.

Herbert Odika, Chief Operating Officer of the Company, pointed out that NAHCO’s strict adherence to global standards stands the Company out in all its operations.

“We have a duty as the leading ground handler in the West African sub-region to set standards. We won’t shy away from playing this leadership role in all our operations,, including the way we process our exports,” he declared.

SOURCE: Business Day