Home News Stakeholders seek hitch-free trade between States

Stakeholders seek hitch-free trade between States


Lagos  –   Stakeholders in Nigeria’s transport
industry on Wednesday said that it was imperative for governments to
ensure the elimination of impediments to free trade between states.

The Nigeria Expanded Trade Transport (NEXTT) Project, a
Contractor to the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), stated this in a statement issued by its
Communication Specialist, Mr Ayo Okulaja.

The statement said that the stakeholders spoke differently at a “Road
Governance Caravan,’’ organised by USAID for states along the Lagos, Kano and
Jibiya (LAKAJI) corridor.

According to it, the development of the LAKAJI corridor as a multi-modal
major route in Nigeria is an initiative of USAID, Nigeria through the
NEXTT project.

“There is the need for Nigeria to eliminate impediments to trade
facilitation on major highways.

“A study has revealed that it costs over $3,000 (about N591, 000) and takes
approximately 12.5 days to send a 20-foot container from Jibiya to

“While it costs nearly $5,000 (about N985, 000) and takes approximately 19.5 days to
move a 20-foot container from the Lagos port to Jibiya.

“The high cost of transporting goods along the corridor is largely due to
the lengthy clearance time, costs at the ports and fines along the
expressway,’’ the statement said.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ogun State Ministry of Works, Mr Kayode
Ademolake, said in the statement that it was imperative for the
impediments to be removed.

According to him, elimination of the impediments will positively
reduce poverty along the corridor.

“These impediments must be removed for trade facilitation, as well as
to reduce the costs and time of moving goods and services. This will
impact positively on reducing poverty on the corridor and the country.

“The economic development of Nigeria is expansive and all challenges and
encumbrances must be removed to improve trade,’’ he added.

A Transport Specialist from the West Africa Borderless Alliance, another
USAID initiative, Mr Noel Kosonu, noted that trade barriers were
responsible for the low level of economic development and integration
in Africa.

According to him, Nigeria is currently not being able to trade with
some neighbouring West African countries due to its high costs and
time of moving goods.

“Nigeria can become a lot more competitive for trading in West Africa
by the removal of barriers to trade and transport, with harmonisation
of procedures,’’ he said.

The NEXTT project’s Deputy Chief of Party, Mr Isaac Adegun, also said
that the corridor should be transformed into an economic corridor,
adding that about 90 percent of Nigerians lived along the LAKAJI
Corridor. (NAN)

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