The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is investing massively in the upgrade and modernisation of the country’s seaports in order to reposition as efficient and reliable gateways to optimise Nigeria’s trade interconnectivity with other countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the NPA has disclosed.
Acting Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko told stakeholders at a forum in Lagos that with the maritime sector providing safe passage for about 80% of Africa’s trade, it is imperative that Nigeria positioned its ports to attract the expected huge volume of cargoes that will come through the sea.
Speaking through the NPA’s Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Hon.Onari Brown at the maiden edition of the Nigerian International Maritime Summit (NIMS), the NPA Boss disclosed that the Authority having keyed into the Federal Government’s agenda to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade, has prioritized the expansion and improvement of port infrastructure, including ICT and security systems, in order to significantly bring down transportation costs of Nigeria’s trade within the continent and globally.
He said “given the urgency with which the new vistas of opportunity of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement beckons, the Authority is eager for actionable ideas and synergistic partnerships that the summit promises to deliver.”
According to Bello-Koko, “the promotion of the African Union agenda of well-interconnected and integrated networks of transport infrastructure to boost opening of markets and increase intra-regional trade, will serve to complement our ongoing aggressive efforts at attaining seamless port hinterland connectivity through multi-modalism”.