The Federal Government through the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has commenced the construction of the first aviacargo village in the country.
This move according to FAAN is geared towards transforming the country into an export-driven economy and also a hub for agro-export in Africa.
The cargo village occupies 27,000 square meters of land mass and can accommodate all the export processes at the airport.
Journalists reported that since the introduction of air cargo system in the country, successive governments have failed to facilitate more export by air despite the availability of goods in the country.
A reflection of the development shows that the sector’s share of total trade volume appears abysmal, as most aircraft leave the country almost empty.
But, in reaction to the development, the Managing Director, of FAAN, Mr. Kabir Mohammed, while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony stated that establishing an aviacargo village was identified as one of the quick wins in addressing the rejection of agro-export from Nigeria and increasing the country’s exports and earnings.
He said: “The cargo village which is one of the proposed recommendations of the aviacargo road map committee, set up by FAAN, is meant to streamline the process of agro-export in the country and create a seamless operation from the farm to the airplane before it’s ferried abroad.
“By this groundbreaking ceremony taking place today, you can agree with me that FAAN management is truly determined to implement your recommendations with a view to taking the rightful number one position in aviacargo exports in Africa within the next few years.
“This cargo village will be one-stop-s aimed at addressing most challenges militating against massive aviacargo exports in our country.
“It will have facilities for cargo processing, packaging, certification, laboratory services, data gathering for traceability of products and produces etc.
“You can be assured that in the couple of years, cargo planes will be departing from our airports fully loaded with goods that meet destination standards and acceptance.”
On his part, the coordinator, Aviacargo Roadmap Committee, Mr Ikechi Uko said the groundbreaking ceremony is a small step for the agency and the committee members but a giant step for Nigeria.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank FAAN, the management staff, for what they have done. This is a small step for those of us here but it is a magic leap not just for FAAN but for Nigeria. We are number five in Africa, when we ought to be number one and this today starts the journey to the number one aviation cargo hub Africa.
“I thank the Managing Director for bringing this to fruition and the whole committee members for supporting this project since we started. And the next time we will be here, there will be evidence of what we have done today.”