Trade facilitation: NPA MD proposes integrated transport network in Africa
NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Usman
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA Hadiza Bala Usman has proposed the introduction of integrated transport network in the African continent aimed at enhancing efficient movement of cargo in and out of the seaports and other logistic services.
The Managing Director, who spoke at the just concluded second continental conference of African Women in Maritime WIMAFRICA with the theme: “ Trade facilitation in Africa : challenges and prospects”, said that such a framework should be targeted at enhancing the clearance of cargo through efficient logistics in a more profitable manner.
According to her, it has become imperative to eliminate the encumbrances affecting trade facilitation and liberalisation in the region.
While commending the members of WIMAFRIAC for organising the conference, she urged the women to proffer an integrative approach that will eliminate the increasing complexity and cost associated with transaction processes of trade in the continent.
She further enjoined members of WIMAFRICA to key into the concept of trade facilitation, which she noted is a major driver of economic development and growth of Nations, adding that this will enable Africa to effectively maximise the tremendous benefits of trade facilitation.
“For us in the continent to get trade facilitation right, it is imperative that our regulatory environment must be tied to best practices and strengthened to ensure that operators in the trade corridors and borders adhere to the various article of the World Trade Organisation WTO 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.
“WIMAFRICA should at this point come up with solutions to unravel critical issues militating against the continent from taking the advantages of the prospects of trade facilitation. You should come up with strategic plans that will upscale the desired growth and development of the economy of the continent”, the MD also said.