GROUP Managing Director of NAHCO Plc, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi has identified a huge potential market for agriculture exports.
Mrs Fagbemi explained how NAHCO was able to surpass its 2018 third quarter performance beating its last year’s figure by N241.3million, a 32.96% percent increase, attributing it to newer equipment, efficiency and processes.
Fagbemi who spoke at the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents’ (LAAC) Gateway Forum said one of NAHCO’s key area of focus is export and that NAHCO has an important role in the agricultural export value chain and is doing all it can to improve its processes further and enlighten exporters to the importance of processing and packaging.
She said, “We’ve also looked at our processes and one of our key areas of focus is export so one of the things I as a person did not really recognize is the importance of NAHCO in the agriculture value chain and it’s something we have taken up passionately that we are pushing and so to enhance that focus that we have, we have had to look at the processes within our export warehouse and we’ve also re-arranged our facilities to be able to enhance safety and security.
This is to ensure that foreign carriers are happy that all the regulations are being met the way it should be.
“And because of that we have passed all our audit and there is more encouragement for agriculture export.
To now roll back on the other side, we are ready; some of the things we are doing we are partnering with different state governments, different stakeholders on how best to push agriculture export.
“This afternoon for example our director commercial and business development would have been in Osun state to have a forum and we’ve done things with… Kano State government, all because we want to partner because the source must also know that if you don’t harvest in a particular way and you don’t package in a particular it in way, then even if we handle it might get destroyed and that has been happening a lot
“It was one of the meetings I had with the airline that the airline discussed things about maggots seen in fish and they had to disinfect the whole aircraft… When these things get to Europe and America they are seen as infestation and all of them are destroyed and we are passionate about spreading that word that is why we are looking for partners that is why we are talking to state governments so people begin to understand how best we can up the value of the agriculture export.
“It’s not that we are being that nice and generous, it is more of enlightened self-interest, the more people get it right, more people will be in that business and hopefully more of them will pass through our ware house.
On how the company surpassed its last year’s third quarter performance, Mrs Fagbemi said there is an ongoing transformation driven by KPMG to make the staff more efficient and use the company’s resources optimally.
She also said new equipment acquired by the handling company has also helped.
“What we’ve done basically is that we have invested more in equipment and as you invest in equipment, you have better efficiency, the newer equipment has less problems, the newer equipments are easier to turn around the aircraft so we are able to do that. Also our processes have also helped we have gone back to look at our process because right now every single standard operating procedure, every single manual is being looked through. I forgot to tell you about the transformation plan being driven with KPMG and one of the thing is that every single manual, every single activity is being looked at to see how best we can use the resources.
One of the things we’ve done is that we’ve assured all our staff that we are not coming to sack you, it’s about being more efficient, because there is always a tendency that people tend to think of job losses when you’re looking at how to do things more efficiently. But I think people are beginning to understand that what we are doing is simply using our people better, more effectively and have better processes and that has also helped because once you can bring in efficiency to processes, you have to see it in savings and cost otherwise you just spend that money in terms of operational efficiency without getting the base,” she said.