As deliberations and ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) continue, the president of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr Mark George Onyung, has said that Nigeria would benefit from over $900 billion daily global shipping business.
Onyung, who disclosed this at the weekend in Lagos, during a meeting with the visiting secretary general of AfCFTA, said, SOAN would diversify as many of their ships have been moving oil to other parts of the world.
“Apapa wharf has turn to a slump, wharf has no business in the city. There is so much congestion in Apapa, the wharf is right in Ajegunle.
The fastest way to move container out from the wharf is through barges, and just one barge would put 71 trucks off the roads, thereby reducing accident on our roads as well as saving money and time. We can take container to anywhere in Africa,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the managing director, Ecobank Nigeria, PatrickAkinwuntan, noted that, Africa was a large market with GDP of over $2 billion, adding that, Ecobank was created pri- marily for the economic inte- gration and the development of Africa.
Earlier, the secretary-general, AfCFTA, Mene Wamkel, said, he was glad to hear that Nigeria is ready to deposit the in- strument of ratification of the AfCFTA, hence, looking forward to Nigeria’s leadership in AfCFTA.
Wamkele stated that, for a long time, the African continent had focused on security and political issues, adding that, focus is now being shifted towards trade and investment related matters.
“Whatever decision we take at the secretariat would be informed by what Africa wants, we will put off any design that will not support what Africa wants. We would implore digitization, and fintech will drive financial inclusion. We would drive trade inclusion through fintech that would be affordable, accessible and available.
“Border closure and xenophobic issues have to be addressed according to the rules of the trade agreement, foreign- ers have to be protected by the agreement and we have to ratify. All the foreign entities must be treated like the domestic players. There is no discrimination that will be tolerated. AfCFTA has improved on the WTO requirements on trade facilitation, and we would ensure that countries meet up with their obligation to ensure smooth trade,” Wamkele pointed out.