GOODWILL MESSAGE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY ON THE WIMAFRICA’S SECOND CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE HOLDING ON THE 29TH AND 3OTH OCTOBER, 2018 AT THE EKO HOTEL AND SUITES, VICTORIA ISLAND.
Hon Minister Of Transportation –Rt Hon Rotimi Chibike Amaechi
Hon Minister Of Industry ,trade and Investment –Okechukwu Enelamah .
Former Hon Minister of Interior
Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport -Sen. Ahmed Yerima
Chairman House Committee on Ports ,Harbours& Waterways –Hon Dr Patrick Asadu
Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety ,Education and Administration –Hon Mohammed Umaru Bago
Oba Of Lagos Represented by the Iyalode of Yoruba land ,Chief Alaba Lawson
Heads of Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation
Heads of Maritime agencies of other African nations
Representative of AU
Representative of IMO
Delegations from other nations
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
I want to seize this opportunity to specially thank the Executive Committee and Members of the African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA) for organizing this auspicious conference with the theme ‘Trade Facilitation in Africa: Challenges and Prospects’. I believe sincerely that this very important subject will elicit proactive discussions that will proffer an integrative approach towards eliminating the increasing complexity and cost associated with transaction processes of trade in the continent.
As you are aware, trade facilitation is a major driver of economic development and growth of nations. Africa as a continent has to key-in to this indispensable concept in order to effectively maximize its tremendous benefits. The continent is mostly an emerging economy and for us to be competitive, impediments to trade at both regional and international levels need to be eliminated. With globalization and its associated trade liberalization, there must be an African framework targeted in enhancing the conveyance of cargoes and the quality of logistics in a more predictable manner.
For us in the continent to get trade facilitation right, it is imperative that our regulatory environment must be tied with best practices and strengthened to ensure that operators in the trade corridors and border – post adhere to the various articles of the World Trade Organization on Trade Facilitation Agreement. We in the continent more than ever before need to redefine our trade processes to ensure simplification of documentation, automation, efficiency, transparency and professionalism; this no doubt will engender ease of doing business.
It is pertinent to reiterate that African continent need to link the ports to the rail network in order to guarantee efficient evacuation of cargoes to both the hinterland and landlocked countries. The competiveness of the continent has been hindered over the years by various unpredictive factors which limit trade facilitation in the continent.
I implore this Conference to unravel critical issues militating against the continent from taking the advantages of the prospect of Trade Facilitation and to come up with strategic plans that will upscale the desired growth and development of the economies of Africa.
Let me use this opportunity to wish you fruitful deliberations during this conference and I hope that the knowledge or resolutions acquired and adopted at this conference would equip the continent to be repositioned for more competitiveness.
Thank you for your attention.
Hadiza Bala Usman
Managing Director-Nigerian Ports Authority