President Muhammadu Buhari has charged African countries to exploit intra-African trade to harness the economic benefits as well as increase their productive capacity.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 9th African Shippers’ Day organized by Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with the Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC) in Lagos, Buhari noted intra-African trade in goods was $135 billion representing 15 per cent of Africa’s total trade.
Speaking on the theme: “African Continental Free Trade Agreement: A Veritable Platform for African Shippers to Mainstream into Global Trade,” President Buhari who was represented by Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, lamented the fact that compared to other regions, intra-African trade is in sharp contrast to trade in other regions which is as high as 70 percent within the European Union and 60 percent in Asia.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Emmanuel Jime, stated that there is a need to sensitize various governments within the region to fast-track the dismantling of tariff and non-tariff barriers hindering trade in the region.
Meanwhile, Jime also asserted that the reorientation and reorganization of intra-African trade should start from the West African sub-region, adding that when the sub-region gets it right, it would be easier to connect and freely trade with other regions of the continent.