• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Shippers Council calls for stakeholders collaboration to facilitate AfCFTA

Nigerian Shippers Council

Pius Ukeyima Akutah, executive secretary/chief executive officer, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the Country’s ports economic regulator, has observed that realizing the full potentials of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will require collaboration from all stakeholders.

Akutah, made the call in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, at a-day sensitisation seminar entitled “Unlocking the potentials of non-oil export, through participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): What stakeholders need to know “, organised by the Council’s South-East coordinating office.

He said, “AfCFTA is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area, by creating a single market for goods and services of almost 1.3billion people across Africa and deepening the economic integration of Africa.

“The trade area could have a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion, but achieving its full potential depends on significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory nations.

“The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs among members and covers policy areas, such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures, such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.

“The establishment agreement of AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda in March, 2018 and Nigeria signed on July 7, 2019. Currently, 54 out of 55 African Union members are signatories to the agreement.”

The Shippers Council Chief Executive Officer, urged relevant authorities to prioritize trade facilitation measures, upgrade and streamline procedures to reduce delays and inefficiencies at ports and borders.

He also stated that collaboration between public, private sectors is essential to promote investment, innovation and capacity building initiatives.

Represented at the forum, by, Margaret Ogbonnah, director, South-East coordinating office of NSC, Akutah, reiterated that AfCFTA holds immense potential for local businesses and State’s economic transformation.

According to him, .Abia State has an undisputable tradition of entrepreneurship, trade and commerce, noting that AfCFTA truely represents a historic opportunity for Africa to foster a single continental market, necessary for economic growth, job creation and competitiveness on the global stage.

He appealed to all stakeholders to work together to overcome challenges and unlock the full benefits of AfCFTA for the prosperity of Abia State, South-East, Nigeria and Africa in general.

The Nigerian Shippers Council is the ports economic regulator in the maritime and transport industry, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy. Its key objective is to create an effective regulatory regime at Nigerian ports for the control of tariff, rates and charges and other related economic services.

The NSC is also, as part of its obligation to ensure that Shippers and other stakeholders, kept abreast of the current global happenings inn international trade and beyond, thereby bridging the knowledge gap for economic prosperity.