By Lucy Ogalue
Abuja – The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has been chosen to champion the “Workstream on Road Transport Infrastructure and Services in readiness for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
AfCTA is the single continental market for goods and services in the African continent.
The minister of state commended the initiative behind AfCTA.
According to Saraki, Nigeria can only harness the potentials it offers by providing enabling environment such as good access roads, stable electricity supply, and security along trade corridors.
She said when these were addressed, Nigeria would become the preferred investor’s destination, adding that the era when the country depended on crude oil was over.
According to her, the President Muhamadu Buhari-led administration is working to revamp infrastructure so that Nigeria can become a globally competitive economy.
The minister of state said she was currently discussing with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on having dedicated routes for inter-state travels and concessioning of Federal Roads.
According to Saraki 90 per cent of Nigerians travelled by road, yet it is the most neglected and most disorganised sub-sector.
She informed that she had met with various stakeholders and was currently working on how the road transport sub-sector could be over hauled in line with present realities.
The Minister of State for Transport, said the task ahead was daunting but not impossible and assured the Committee of her Ministry’s support in achieving the laudable objectives of AfCTA.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCTA, Mr Francis Anatogu said the era where the continent expended 650 billion dollars on importation annually, out of which 85 per cent came in from outside of Africa was no longer acceptable.
Anatogu posited that for Nigeria to harness the potentials of the agreement, she needed to be part of the African Union’s (AU) conversation.
According to him the conversation was geared towards ensuring that policies introduced are in tandem with national laws of the country. (NAN)