…NIMASA, Customs take positions

By Eguono Odjegba

EXECUTIVE Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello, has said that intra-African trade stands the chance of rising by as much as $35billion per annum if the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, is properly implemented.

Vanguard Live
The official logo for Vanguard Live

He also stated that the continental agreement would be able to reduce foreign imports by as much as $10billion per annum, with African agricultural and industrial exports rising between $4billion and $21billion above baseline.

Economist hails Buhari’s disposition to Free Africa Trade Agreement(Opens in a new browser tab)

Bello spoke at the one-day conference organized by the Journal of Freight and Energy, with the theme ‘Maximizing Benefits of Intra African Trade under AfCFTA Regime’.

In aggregate capacity expansion, Bello said AfCFTA will also be able to grow small and medium size enterprises by 80 percent, using continental regional markets to make inroads into markets outside Africa.

The NSC boss who was represented by Mr. James Chabulatuda, Operations Officer, Consumer Affairs, said Nigeria has strong performance outlook in the continental trade agreement in the area of enhanced investment windows and additional job creation.

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, however, warned that Nigeria must be willing to deepen her backward integration economic policies and adopt the best methods to identify her comparative advantages in the continental pool of basket of opportunities to be able to optimize benefits inherent in AfCFTA.

Niger State initiates strategy to pace up youth development(Opens in a new browser tab)

Represented by Morenike Thomas, Head, Planning, Research and Data Management Services, noted that the scope of the trade agreement exceeds that of a traditional free trade area which generally focuses on trade in goods only. He stated that AfCFTA offers much more, including trade in services, investments, intellectual property rights, competing policy and e-commerce.

He said AfCFTA, being a continental agreement, is expected to ride on additional complementary initiatives such as protocol on free movement of persons, right to residence and establishment of business in any part of Africa, and the Single African Air Transport Market, SAAATM.

However in his presentation, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), while reiterating the resolve of the Service to provide the enabling port environment for Nigeria to maximize expected gains from the continental trade agreement, tied the expected benefits and successes to high level display of honesty and compliance with extant Customs rules.

He said transparency among importers, agents and others operating under Customs trade control will help in the attainment of Authorized Economic Operators, AEO, required to drive AfCFTA. Represented by the Customs Area Controller of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, Comptroller Nike Oladunni, Ali said lack of integrity cannot promote any enduring benefits.


Subscribe to our youtube channel


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.