The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has called for the removal of physical trade barrier in the African sub-region.
Bello made the call during the inauguration of the interim working committee of West Africa Road Transport Union (WARTU), held in Lagos.
According to him, regional transportation requires integration, harmonisation and standardisation
“This is the reason the meeting is being structured because the volume of trade within the African sub-region is not very much. The volume of trade within the Central African region is representing one per cent comparing with that of Europe which stands at 70 per cent. We need to look at ways of improving trade within the sub-region and there are so many things to trade on among us,” he said.
He said the Nigeria’s trade was supported by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), laws and protocols which had been guiding the effective operation of trade in the region.
According to him, the Council has been playing a critical role in ensuring that the institutions and bodies were supported in one way or the other.
He commended the National Road Transport Owners (NARTO), for their involvement in the series of laudable activities believing that the Union was having the capacity and capability to put things in place.
Bello expressed the Council’s readiness to give the newly inaugurated committee the necessary support and encouragement to enable them meet their aspirations.
In his inaugural address, the President of WARTU, Ogbogo Aloga, lauded the Council for the pivotal role played in ensuring a level playing ground among stakeholders.
Alogo said that the role of transportation in Africa sub-region cannot be over emphasised. This, he said, necessitated the inauguration of the working committee of WARTU.
“This is a welcome development because trade within the sub-region is already moribund and requires urgent restructuring of the trade to boost the inter-regional trade relationship. The integration that is coming now is very important because it will also increase trade on African corridor and remove barrier among the countries,” he said.
He said that the newly inaugurated body was set up to address issues affecting trade such as communications, security, and exchange rate among ECOWAS countries.
Alogo said that the WARTU body had been inaugurated before now adding that now that it has been resuscitated, the eight committee member would work hard to improve trade in African sub-region.