August 14, 2015

Nigeria, Niger in 3 million tons of transit cargo deal

By Godwin Oritse

Nigeria and its Nigerien counterpart have concluded plans to move three million tonnes of transit cargoes from Lagos seaports to Jibiya in Niger annually.

Disclosing this in Abuja yesterday, Mallam Mohammed Bashar , Permanent  Secretary, Ministry of Transport, said that the move to transit cargoes to Niger has become necessary as a result of the derivable benefits.

Niger is a landlocked country and as such, the country is constrained in its international trade.

Bashar also said that Nigeria stands to benefit more from the collaborative effort of both countries as the development will translate to more revenue for government, terminal operators, freight forwarders, truckers and dockworkers.

Bashar said at a workshop on “Facilitation of Transit Trade in Nigeria” explained that landlocked countries are constrained in participation in international trade as they have to depend on coastal states for the movement of merchandise.

He called on participants to proffer solutions to problems mitigating against the movement of transit cargoes between both countries.

He also said that Niger generates a high volume of cargoes   as such, the country cannot be ignored.

He said “transit requirement makes landlocked countries dependent on their neighbours’ transport infrastructure with increased transaction costs that affects their international competitiveness.

“Landlocked states therefore face double disadvantages and need all the assistance to overcome them.

“In the West and Central Africa sub-regions freight movement along the main transit corridors is hindered by physical and non-physical bottlenecks.”

He also disclosed that the Governments of these regions have signed numerous bilateral, multilateral, and regional agreements on transit-transport cooperation adding that the implementation of the project still leaves room for improvement.

Speaking in similar vein, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello said that   moving transit cargo through the Nigerian ports will help achieve economies of scale and attract more transport operators, leading to a favourable cycle in higher trade volumes.

He explained that higher trade volumes will drive more efficient transport system resulting in lower cost transport cost.

“Investment opportunities will increase with regards to infrastructure development and other ancillary services  such as freight forwarding, insurance and banking will receive a boost with a multiplier effects on our national economy,” he added.

Hassan commended the Nigeria Customs Service,(NCS), in its collaborative efforts in the Niger-Nigeria trade corridor by decentralizing the issuance of Transire, a document needed for the movement of transit cargoes