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Shippers’ Council calls for forum to strengthen transit trade in Africa


ABUJA – Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council on Friday called for a common forum to strengthen transit trade infrastructure in Africa.

Bello said this when the Director-General of the shippers council of Niger Republic, Mr Oumarou Issoufou and other officials paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Bello said the forum would facilitate collaboration with sister countries in the movement of transit cargoes imported by landlocked countries.

He said that it was against this background that the council engaged the Nigerian Customs Service with a view to removing long barrier tariff to enhance transit trade in the country.

“The Federal Government has been very keen about the role of shippers’ council in the transit trade. We have to come together under such platform to tackle critical issues bordering on international maritime activities.

He disclosed that there would be a transit trade seminar to be jointly organised by the council and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

He commended the Niger Republic Council for honouring the invitation to the just concluded 13th Maritime Seminar for Judges jointly organised by the council and the National Judicial Institute in Abuja.

Bello explained that the maritime seminar was a forum which was organised to cement the relationship between Nigeria and sister countries.

“Apart from the maritime seminar, the council will institute a common forum to build capacity on transit trade infrastructure and on the role of international trade on our economy.

“Our countries have common interests and have come a long way in history.  We have been trying to capture a substantial amount of imports to Niger Republic through Nigerian ports.

“Nigerian ports are not what they used to be, they are now very efficient, the clearing system has improved and for reason of proximity and common economic progress, we should come  together for the mutual benefit  of our people,” he said.

Earlier, Issoufou called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria and the Niger Republic to improve shipping activities between the neighbouring countries.

He expressed gratitude over the privilege given to their council to participate in the just concluded 13th Maritime Seminar for Judges.

Oumarou said the purpose of the visit was to seek collaboration with Nigerian council in enhancing its shipping activities to boost activities in maritime industry.

“We will like to learn and share experience with Nigeria in areas that would enhance maritime activities in Niger Republic.

He, however, disclosed that Niger would hold its Shippers’ Day on Aug. 7, and called for partnership with Nigeria in driving activities in the sector. (NAN)

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