Bello, Sheidu-Shabi, Harp on Exports, AfCFTA Opportunities

Bello, Sheidu-Shabi, Harp on Exports, AfCFTA Opportunities

The federal government has been urged to devise an actionable plan for Nigeria to increase its exports and stop depending on importation of goods.

Stakeholders who spoke at the 2023 summit organised by City Business News Online in Lagos, said the rage of importation has wreaked more havoc on the Nigerian economy over the years.

Principal Partner, Justicia Legal Practitioners and Former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello while calling for more exports explained that one of the major problems that Nigeria have is lack of proper planning.

He said: „The Apapa ports were built in the 80s, but no one thought that our population will rise from that time. And so, we began in a way that we don’t even have good roads for transportation. The railway was abandoned. I have never seen a country that has abandoned its rail system like Nigeria. Everything was moved by road, so we fancy that road until it came to the climax where the ports became congested and Nigeria losing trillions of naira. Why is it that there is no rail connection to the ports, and we have the same thing happening in Lekki now, so planning is part of our major problems.”

Speaking on the theme: “Repositioning Nigerian Economy: 2023 and Beyond” the Chairperson, Women in Logistic and Transport (WiLAT), Khadijat Ifelola Sheidu-Shabi, said she is hopeful that Nigeria will rise again, but it should look inward and initiate a shift from import-dependent to export-oriented economy.

Sheidu-Shabi said the women and the nation at large should take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and maximize the opportunities to the benefit of the nation’s economy.

“I know that we have export terminals coming up and these export terminals are growing. We need to increase our exportation and stop dependence on importation.

“Somebody said if we are denied everything imported, Nigeria will be the greatest country in the world, because he knows that Nigerians can do a lot.  Our weakness is importation. We even import tissue paper,” she said.

Group Managing Director, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Oscar Onyema, said the economic situation of Nigeria gives rise to the need to explore other options of generating revenue and attracting investors both locally and internationally.

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