AfCFTA Roundtable Chat:
Maritime Stakeholders Score MAJAN High on Enlightenment Programme
*Seeks support for the group on its coming national summit
(Written by Silas Onuoha):
Stakeholders in the maritime industry have scored Maritime Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), high on its enlightenment programmes.
The stakeholders gave this commendation while speaking at the just concluded roundtable discussion on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), organised by MAJAN, in Lagos.
While some called on regulatory agencies, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to give MAJAN adequate support to continue its enlightenment programmes, others advised government agencies to partner directly with MAJAN, in order to make such programmes regular.
In his remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of Mac-Manuel Global Logistics, Mr Emeka Enwelu, who attended as Guest Speaker, said:
“I’m highly impressed by the level of reportage and enlightenment MAJAN is giving the Industry. It is quite beneficial for the growth of the sector.
“I commend your President, Mr Ray Ugochukwu, for his visionary leadership. Stakeholders are very happy with what MAJAN is doing in the maritime industry. Recently, we received your Communique on the programme you did on Apapa traffic gridlock and its toll on businesses. Only last week, we saw yet another programme you did on Investigative Journalism, now, you are discussing AfCFTA; your effort is highly appreciated”.
Speaking on the readiness of maritime stakeholders to key into AfCFTA concept, Mac-Manuel Global Logistics boss, also the Vice President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), explained, “Government is not ready because the level of enlightenment is very low.
“Government has not done much in educating those concerned about this concept. Look at an important sector like maritime, nobody has reached out to licensed customs agents and other Industry players.
“Government signed AfCFTA when our land borders were still closed. It shows that we are not prepared. We
just entered into an important trade agreement without adequate preparation.
“The only things we have are the population and a large market.”
Also speaking, the Guest Lecturer, who is the Registrar, NAGAFF Academy, Fwdr Francis Omotosho, informed: “Regional trade agreements vary depending on the level of commitment and arrangement among member countries. It comes with internal rules that member countries must follow.
“These include removal of trade barriers; free movement of goods and services across the region; Customs Union of
Member countries must reduce trade barriers to enhance seamless cargo clearance; free import and export of resources must be allowed; member countries have to adopt a set of economic policies and use of one currency; regional integration must be encouraged. Investors who want to put money in developing countries must be protected against political risk”.
He added :
“AfCFTA has economic benefits, which include increase in foreign direct investments (FDI) and reduction in trade tariff. The agreement helps to remove trade barriers. It boosts economic growth, creates jobs and paves the way for market