Wamkele Mene meets Nigeria’s maritime stakeholders at Apaapa Port  


The Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has paid a working visit to the Shippers Council of Nigeria and the Nigerian Customs to familiarize himself with measures being undertaken within the maritime space to enhance smooth movement of goods at the Apaapa Port.

Addressing the team from the Nigerian Customs and the Nigeria Shippers Council at the Apaapa Port, Mr. Mene urged all the stakeholders within the port and maritime trade to work towards integrating their procedures instead of working in silos.

He said: “The ports are obviously a very critical part of the AfCFTA. What we should be doing is to integrate all interventions so we don’t appear as if we want to compete.”

He said the Secretariat is working with all the regional economic communities to ensure maximization of trade facilitation.

“If we want to increase funding for a particular port, we go collectively as a regional block to secure the funds over a long-term period from the AfDB or World Bank,” he explained.

He explained that the continent must collectively work to ensure its competitiveness in growing the ports of the continent.

He urged the players to work towards ensuring smooth movement of goods on their corridors whilst advising them to however remain vigilant in enforcing customs procedures to minimize risks of transshipment.

Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, bemoaned the difficulties involved in shipping within West Africa.

“Currently, cargo leaving Nigeria to Ghana will first have to go to Europe before getting to Ghana. What speaks to me, with the implementation of the AfCFTA is that we’re going to break the barrier that makes continental trade in Africa impossible,” he noted.

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