From Uche Usim, Abuja
As African nations warm up for full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a Faculty member of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr Frank Ojadi has listed lack of export strategy and high shipping cost as major impediments that must be dismantled if Nigeria is to reap the benefits of the scheme through export.
To this end, he has asked the government and relevant stakeholders to immediately design an export strategy that will detail the processes and procedures that guide products’ export.
Ojadi gave the charge in Abuja Monday at a five-day training programme aimed at equipping participants with relevant knowledge, tools and skills required to develop their export business in line with global best practices.
According to him, the absence of clearcut guidelines on exports would shortchange Nigeria from reaping bountifully from the gains of AfCFTA.
He said: “I was examining the coastal shipping which ought to boost the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and I discovered that high costs in our ports and shipping are contributing to our not being competitive enough to export products”. “Coastal shipping will help in properly placing Nigeria to reap bountifully from the AfCFTA. Infrastructural deficits that are associated with shipping will affect trade going to different parts of the world from Nigeria.”
Ojadi identified lack of capacity as another factor impeding export trade in Nigeria. “Government and other stakeholders such as banks need to prioritize equipping people and building their capacities to understand what export means. It is very important for people to know the process and learn the procedures.