Post COVID-19 Economy: NSC Identifies UNCTAD Action Plan As Headway

Post COVID-19 Economy: NSC Identifies UNCTAD Action Plan As Headway
L-R: Dr. Kola Awe , Chairman, Export Group, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Chief Catejan Agu, Director Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Dr. Madu Obiora, Africa Centre for Supply Chain and Mrs. Christie Jatau, Deputy Director, Trade Services, NSC, at the Trade Facilitation workshop on COVID-19 organized by NSC, yesterday
By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to attain efficient operations at Nigerian ports, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has canvassed for the implementation  of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 10-point action plan for trade facilitation in the post COVID-19 pandemic era.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello stated this yesterday, during his welcome address at a sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on Trade Facilitation in post COVID-19 pandemic era, organised by Shippers’ Council.
Bello encouraged the federal government and maritime stakeholders to embrace the UNCTAD action points which could address some of the shortcomings at Nigerian ports.
The UNCTAD 10-point action plan includes; ensuring uninterrupted shipping, keeping the port open, projecting international trade of critical goods and speed up customs clearance and trade facilitation, facilitating cross-border transport to ensure free flow of goods across borders, safeguarding transparency and provision of up-to-date information, ensuring the right to transit.
Others include; going paperless to help in observing social distancing, protecting shippers and transport service providers alike as well as prioritising technical assistance by investing in human, institutional and technology capacities.
The Shippers’ Council boss also noted that it was pertinent to emphasize the experience during the COVID-19 pandemic which underscore the need for the adoption of e-commerce in Nigeria especially the digitization of the port in order to reduce human contact.
Also speaking at the conference, the President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung noted that shipping prevented the world from going into a total economic meltdown.
Onyung opined that the use of barge operations would dissipate the congestion and consequent ills that characterize the nation’s major ports in Lagos.
According to him, the health challenge of COVID-19 pandemic are real and they should instigate the required innovation in shipping, port operations and the entire economic aspects of the nation.
Bello earlier assured that the resolutions reached at the workshop would be implemented in order to facilitate trade in line with the UNCTAD 10-point action plan.
The Council had packaged the series of sensitization workshop for stakeholders and relevant agencies to discuss trade challenges, lessons learnt during the pandemic and ponder ways of actualising a national action plan to cushion the adverse effects on the economy.
Some stakeholders who attended the conference include; Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Multimix Academy, Dr. Mary Obiora, among other Organized Private Sector (OPS) groups and shipping stakeholders.

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