The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it’s ready to strengthen the country’s economic relations with the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, especially in the area of port and shipping operations to enable both countries participate competitively in global trade.
Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting managing director of NPA, made this disclosure while receiving a delegation from the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, who paid him a courtesy visit at the NPA corporate headquarters in Marina, Lagos.
According to a statement by Olaseni Alakija, general manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, the NPA boss stated that Nigerian Government has introduced reforms to facilitate cross border trade, particularly in developing a multimodal port system that would reduce the cost of shipments in and out of the country.
“The Buhari administration has also invested heavily in major public infrastructure including modern rail lines and deep seaports, to boost the international competitiveness of the country’s trade, and position Nigeria as gateway to the African economy,” he said.
He said that one of the Greenfield ports in Nigeria such as the Lekki Deep Seaport capable of handling ultra large cargo vessels is scheduled to commence business by the second quarter of 2022.
Bello-Koko stated that the Authority plans to give priority to non-oil export trade as export processing terminal is now being established, to take advantage of opportunities under African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Responding, H.E. Traore Kalilou, ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Nigeria, described the bilateral relations between the countries as strategic, and that he looks forward to a review of existing agreements before the end of the year.