Makurdi cargo ter­mi­nal to grow econ­omy

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

The re­mod­el­ing of Makurdi Air­port Ter­mi­nal, one of the 16 des­ig­nated per­ish­able cargo ter­mi­nals, will soon be com­pleted, the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the Federal Air­ports Author­ity of Nigeria (FAAN), Eng Sale Dunoma, has said.

He gave the as­sur­ance while in­spect­ing work at the Makurdi Air­port over the weekend, task­ing the con­trac­tor to fol­low the spec­i­fi­ca­tions as FAAN en­gi­neers will con­tinue to mon­i­tor progress of work closely.

The air­port ter­mi­nal is be­ing re­mod­elled with em­pha­sis on safety and se­cu­rity and the ca­pac­ity to process fresh agric pro­duce for for­eign and lo­cal mar­kets.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor in­spected the Ar­rival and halls, lounges, toi­lets and po­ten­tial spa­ces for commercial of­fer­ings.

Cur­rently, African per­ish­able cargo ex­ports to Western coun­tries is in ex­cess N250 bil­lion, an­nu­ally, and Nigeria doesn’t ben­e­fit a lot from these huge ex­ports. Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, among oth­ers, formed ma­jor ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

The per­ish­able cargo ter­mi­nal is im­por­tant in the avi­a­tion roadmap ap­proved by the Federal Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil.

The per­ish­able cargo pro­grammes is ex­pected to bring about a bot­tom-up growth and de­vel­op­ment of the Nige­rian so­ci­ety.

It will also pro­vide a plat­form for farm­ers in the state and the neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties to ex­port their com­modi­ties and earn more in­come to im­prove their liv­ing con­di­tions.

Benue State is con­sid­ered the food bas­ket of Nigeria be­cause of its agri­cul­tural ca­pa­bil­ity, pro­duc­ing items rang­ing from or­anges, mangoes, yams, cas­savas, rice, veg­eta­bles, se­same seeds, mil­let, maize, guinea corn, etc. but much of what the farm­ers pro­duce are ei­ther grossly un­der-priced or rot as a re­sult of lack of lo­cal ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb the huge har­vests an­nu­ally.

The Federal Govern­ment hoped with the per­ish­able cargo in Makurdi, farm­ers will be­gin to se­cure real value for their hard work as their farm pro­duce will find their way to the big­gest cities and su­per­mar­kets not only in Nigeria but also in Europe and Amer­ica.

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