Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) has disclosed that a lack of inter-agency regulatory framework is affecting the implementation of international trade in Nigeria.
He disclosed this in Lagos at the Primetime Reporters 3rd Annual Lecture and Awards with the theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Readiness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.”
What the LCCI boss said
“I am happy we have quite a number of maritime players in attendance here, most of the problems with AfCFTA is coming from the maritime sector.
“Some agencies operate as monopoly affirming that the sector lacks dispute resolution mechanisms to tackle issues confronting the Industry,” he said.
He listed cost-effective power supply, cost of credit (interest rates), expanding trade finance/micro credits and finance for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSME) as some of the problems faced by stakeholders.
He added that multiple taxations by government, high level of insecurity, quality of trade infrastructure, long-standing problem of transshipment, piracy, smuggling, and other injurious trade practices by non-African trading partners also contribute to international trade roadblocks in the country.
He urged that African Continental Free Trade Act would be beneficial for SMEs in Nigeria, as it also comes with other benefits including developing infrastructure to support local production and export capacity.
Popular position on the AfCFTA
WTO boss, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated last month that for Africa to make the African Continental Free Trade Area work, the focus needs to be on logistics and simplifying movements of goods and services across the continent.
“To make it work, we need to do a few more things, including logistic issues that prevent us from benefitting.
“Some parts of the continent are doing better than us on implementing than others, we still have lorries lined up by border and we are looking for digital passports and things, so that they can move easily,” Okonjo-Iweala stated.
“We have the AU passport, the idea is that business people will eventually get one and ordinary Africans can get one to move freely. If we want the AfCFTA to work, we must make goods, services, and people, flow easily across borders,” she added.
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