Nigeria’s Frontiers Of Trade Must Be Extended – Hassan Bello

Nigeria's Frontiers Of Trade Must Be Extended - Hassan Bello
Barr. Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary of NSC

The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello has lamented the low turn of Nigeria’s export trade and charged the government to step up policies aimed at revamping the
export industries in Nigeria.

Speaking as a guest at the International Sea Trade and Investment Convention (ISTIC), Bello said that, “Nigeria today is behind in the ranking of emerging economies like South Africa. We have to extend the
frontiers of trade in Nigeria.”

He observed that Nigeria’s export trade requires boosting, as most containers that come into the country with cargo often have to return
empty because there’s nothing to export from Nigeria. He pointed out
that this trade imbalance adversely affects cost of transportation and maritime operation generally, while averring that the situation has reached a stage where we cannot have business as usual.
On his part, former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi, who is Chairman of the Convention steering Committee, underscored the importance of a viable export
trade initiative for Nigeria. He asserted that to ignore export trade will spell disaster for the nation’s economy in general.

According to him, “If we believe that export is something we can leave for the next 20 years to develop, then we would have shot ourselves in
the foot. The time to develop export industries in Nigeria was
yesterday, not even today. Africa and indeed Nigeria has reached a stage where they must export or they perish.”
Sarumi, under whose tenure as MD of NPA saw privatization of the ports, stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) embargo on a number of imported items should serve as a wake-up call to concerned
stakeholders to initiate the development of industries within Nigeria as alternative to those 41 items and more.
In his words, “The materials and resources are there. What is required is the support and infrastructure that would assist exporters in their business.”
Furthermore, Chief Sarumi said it was regrettable that “exporters in Nigeria are treated as if no one wants them while importers are treated as kings,” he concluded.

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