The Lilypond Export Processing Zone is expected to begin operations in another 60 days as the concessionaire in charge of the zone, already started construction on the site, BusinessDay has discovered.
The zone, which is part of the initiatives by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in conjunction with Trucks Transit Parks, will upon commencement, create a space for processing export related cargoes in order to facilitate export trade and reduce the number of export trucks on Apapa roads vis-à-vis traffic gridlock.
BusinessDay understands that the idea of the Lilypond Export Processing Zone is to ensure that all export operations in terms of customs examination, document processing, verification of the vessel, and ensuring that all the terminals are ready to receive goods, will be done by the export processing zone.
Adedenuola Orimolade, operations manager, Trucks Transit Parks Ltd (TTP), who disclosed this in a recent interview with BusinessDay, said NPA identified Lilypond as an export processing zone because it was discovered that several export trucks still stay on the road waiting to go to the terminal even after exiting the pre-gate terminals.
“The concessionaire for the Export Processing Zone has started construction. They started the civil works in the segregated area within Lilypond terminal, and we believe that in the next 30 to 60 days, there should be full execution because there has been series of engagements to that effect,” he said.
According to him, the initiative will also help in ensuring that the electronic call-up system will become sustainable.
Itunuoluwa Shonibare, a truck owner, who pointed out that export cargo has been suffering, said that exporters and their truckers need a platform under the electronic call-up system to ensure seamless delivery of export containers to the port.
She further disclosed that truckers are presently running away from lifting export cargoes due to the clog in wheel of its delivery.
Recall that the NPA in March 22, 2021 suspended trucks carrying export cargoes from having access into Ports in Lagos, Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports, for two weeks.
This, according to the authority, was due to some challenges with export cargo, which resulted in congestion being experienced within Apapa corridor despite the implementation of the electronic call-up system.
NPA noted that a lot of export trucks approach the port without completing their documentation.