AfCFTA: Transport expert educates freight forwarders against being caught napping

Chinazor Megbolu       |

A transport expert has called on Nigerian Freight Forwarders that it was time for them to draw their roadmap for the future as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is set to commence in March, 2020.

Professor Iyiola Oni, Chairman, Maritime Studies, University of Lagos gave the charge on yesterday when delivering lecture at the 20th anniversary celebration of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in Lagos.

While reiterating the benefits of the agreement, Professor Oni said that it is not all the countries that signed the agreement that will benefit equally saying only those who are prepared that will benefit more.

In the same vein, he maintains that freight forwarders must equip themselves if they do not want to be left behind in the AfCFTA regime.

He admonished them to start studying the Agreement and the operations of single window to become acquainted with their imperatives.

“Since almost all countries in Africa are coming in stream in this agreement, freight forwarders should start studying and identifying which countries they have comparative and competitive advantage with that they can hook up with easily.

“They should start brokering partnership in these countries and start pilot or trial business schemes in anticipation of the full-scale operations of the AfCFTA in 2020.

“As operations, plan and position for these giant strides by the African Union to boost economic activities in the continent, the spirit is for you to rise above local challenges, develop adequate capacity for continental and global competition,” he stated.

According to the erudite transport Professor, benefits of the regime will accrue to countries and individuals that are well equipped.

He also posited that welfare benefits from lower import prices, production efficiency and increase in outputs will offer more jobs to the freight forwarders.

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