The Internal Audit Director of the African Export-Import Bank, Mr. Abel Osuji, said that Nigeria must process its export-bound agricultural products to add greater value and maximize income on the products.
Osuji gave the advice in Lagos while delivering a lecture organised by the University of Port Harcourt Faculty of Management Sciences Alumni Class of 1992.
Osuji said there was need to develop the agriculture value-chain, to boost processing and increase income for the nation.
According to him, exporting processed goods apart from increasing revenue will also help the nation to take charge of markets from production through processing to distribution.
He said the time for portfolio investment was gone and that it was time for Nigeria to take the bull by the horn and service an identified market by grooming entrepreneurs.
The director also stressed the need to increase food processing to avert huge post-harvest loses in Nigeria and other African countries.
He explained the benefits of developing the yam value-chain, noting that Nigeria produced 67 per cent of total yam produce from West Africa but was exporting less than one per cent of the commodity.
Mr. Austine Obajidi, a shipping expert, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to encourage non-oil exports.
Another member of the body, Mr. Stanley Okocha, called for sustained funding of research on agriculture to grow the nation’s non-oil sector.
Okocha said that the nation’s leadership must incorporate the academia by funding research to achieve innovation in agriculture.