President Muhammadu Buhari has
advised African countries to improve on ports infrastructure and utilise all
natural maritime endowments to facilitate trade.
made the plea on Monday in Abuja during the first Regional Conference of
International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH) with the theme: “Africa Ports and
said that interconnectivity would improve African countries’ economic
competitiveness as targeted under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
advised that every port should have the complement of rail infrastructure.
complement the improvement in trade facilitation, we have improved on upgrading
projection is that by the end of 2021, we will have standard gauge railway
across the main North-South trading route.
same level of serious attention is being given to the improvement of road
the moment, 25 major highways and 44 roads are under construction across the
six geo- political zones of the count just as we have insisted on the
simulation activities on our inland waterways.
inland river channels are being dredged with adequate channel markings for ease
of navigation all the way through the Eastern and Northern parts of the
is the only way to go if we plan to remain competitive in the maritime
want to implore participants at the conference to see themselves as people
opportuned to stand in positions of responsibility on behalf of Africa,” the
said that maritime sector was central to facilitation of trade and total
integration of Africa for development.
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, urged African countries to
optimise the comparative advantage of their maritime endowments.
said that it should be understood that optimising maritime potential was
totally dependent on efficient transportation of cargo from ports of
destination into the hinterland.
are therefore committed to the multi-modal system of transportation from all
our ports by improving on the extension of our railways to facilitate the ease
of transportation from ports to hinterlands.
have started test operations in Warri and other places two months ago. We have
reconstructed some railways for standard gauge to further open up the nation’s
the development of dry ports in Kano and Kaduna, with direct rail connection,
cargoes and containers now easily transmit to Northern Nigeria.
also extends to Chad, Niger Republic in our determination to promote transshipment
of cargoes to Niger Republic.
are also partnering with the government of Niger Republic in the reconstruction
of Maadi, Niger Republic, from Kano to promote regional motivation of trade,”
said that solid minerals and some agricultural produce were already being
exported from Ikorodu Lighter Terminal through Apapa port in Lagos.
Managing Director, IAPH, Mr Patrick Verhoven, said that Africa was the second
largest and second most populous continent with six of the 10 fastest growing
economies in the world.
to him, improving hinterland connection is not merely a matter of “hardware”.
is also about investing in “software”, namely people’s skills and Smart IT with
50 per cent of Africa’s 1.2 billion people under the age of 20 and a workforce
of 504 million expected by 2020,” Verhoven said.
told the participants to ensure that the port industry attracted the right
status as well as made the best use of innovations in digitisation, stressing
that the use of data was of equal significance.
Vice President of IAPH, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, said there was no doubt that
“Africa holds a special space in the global space with 39 of the 54 countries
on the continent endowed with littoral assets”.
who is also the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said that
the development of the continent was to a large extent, tied to optimal
exploitation of its vast maritime resources.
to her, determinant factors for determing ports are the speed and seamlessness
with which owners of cargoes are able to move their consignments out of the
said that Africa needed some work to be done in that area and
urged participants to open their minds to speak out and learn new things
that would justify the meeting.
recalled that IAPH was established to promote development of ports and create
worldwide synergy for effectiveness among all member countries through strong
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in its 63-years of existence, the
association had grown into a global alliance, representing 180 member’ ports
and 140 port-related businesses in 90 countries.