The Nigerian Government revealed that for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to thrive, the private sector needs to work with the government on improving transport infrastructure hubs to boost exports through Public, Private Partnership (PPP).
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, at the Ministerial Consultative Meeting with the media on Friday in Lagos.
She also added that the FG plans to use floating dockyards and other improved transport hubs for trade to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
What the minister is saying
Saraki revealed that for Nigeria to reap from AfCFTA, it needs to make the ports more competitive, stating, “We know that the largest number of cargoes come to Nigeria, we need to take advantage of that.
“The state of the ports in Lagos made my move imperative, and the ministry seeks to drive a closer relation and synergy between the private and public sectors in ensuring an enabling environment exists in which business can thrive.”
“Especially for AfCFTA, being the champion in the transportation sector, it was critical for me to come to know where we are in our preparedness compared to our neighbouring countries,” she added
She reminded stakeholders of the importance of Nigeria’s maritime economy, which she says would have been much more important if Nigeria did not have oil, citing that Nigeria needs to take advantage of its large young population and engage them in employment in the sector.
“The floating dockyard is an area that can provide jobs for the youth as it has been estimated to provide up to 20,000 jobs and we have gone to the Naval Dockyard to see how best we can put it to use.
“Government has this programme of bringing Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years and we need to have the maritime industry contributing to that, the floating dockyard will see to that contribution,” Saraki said.
She promised stakeholders that before the end of this administration, Nigeria will have the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), which has gone up to 350 million dollars, and also the National Transport Policy.
What you should know
- Nigeria’s Central Bank of Nigeria disbursed N55.34 billion under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (100 for100 PPP) as of May 2022.
- This program, which launched on November 1, 2021, will select 100 private sector businesses with projects that have the potential to boost local productivity and Nigeria’s ability to produce foreign exchange