The Director General of Nsukka Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr Daniel Ochi, has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Aviation to install an Explosives Detector Machine at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to engender export of local products through the airport.
Ochi who made the appeal on Tuesday in an interview with some journalists in Enugu, disclosed that his chamber had an order to supply 100 tonnes of ‘yellow habanero’ otherwise known as Nsukka yellow pepper and ocimum gratissimum popularly known as scent leaf to the United States of America every month for five years, but regretted that they wouldn’t export through the airport without the EDM.
He explained that a condition precedent required by their off-takers and buyers before the products could be exported to the US or European countries was that the products must be subjected to EDM.
According Ochi, “Nsukka Chamber of Commerce is promoting exports of made-in-Nigeria products. As we speak, we have order to supply 100 tonnes of Nsukka yellow pepper to United States on a monthly basis for the next five years.
“We also have an order to supply scent leaf (nchanwu). Our off-takers and buyers require that before these products are accepted in any of the EU countries, we make sure we subject the package to an explosives dictating machine.”
He added, “Our plan is to export from Enugu airport but the airport doesn’t have the machine. It is only available in Lagos and Abuja.
“If we move our consignment from Enugu to Lagos it will add to the cost of that product. By the time our products arrive the US, we might not be able to compete favourably because of our price; so we are losing.
“That is why we make a plea to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to help us talk to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.”
He disclosed that the investigation by the chamber showed that the machine would cost about N47m.
According to him, the chamber is also talking with the Enugu state government to help in relating the situation to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.