The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the trade support infrastructure being created by the present administration will boost trade between Nigeria and other countries.
The Minister, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day Sub-Regional Workshop and Joint Standing Committee Meeting of the Union of African Shippers’ Council in Abuja, said that the infrastructure included functional railways, roads, establishment of Inland Dry Ports and Truck Transit Parks across Nigeria.
While noting that that infrastructure have been put in place in order to bring shipping closer to service users in the hinterland with the commissioning of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port by President Muhammadu Buhari in January, Amaechi urged landlocked countries to take advantage of the Kaduna Dry Port for the carriage of transit goods through Nigerian Seaports.
The Minister stressed that high freight rates, arbitrary imposition of surcharges remained key challenges hindering the development of international trade in West and Central Africa.
He, however, noted that it required collective responsibility of stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions to tackling these arbitrary and unjustifiable costs.
In his remarks at the forum, the Chairman, Governing Council of NSC, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, said that the workshop marked an important milestone for the Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) as it would aid in the pursuit of effective and efficient trade and transportation for sustainable economic development in the sub-region.