AfCFTA: Trade negotiation ongoing between Nigeria, African countries

Ms Funmi Folorunsho, African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Co-champion on Transportation, says trade negotiation is ongoing between Nigeria and other African countries on trade opportunities in the transportation sector.

Folorunsho made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

She said that AfCFTA Transportation Group had come together to look at legislation, trade negotiation, cross border matters to address challenges in providing transportation services across board.

According to her, a lot is going on and there is still a lot of work to be done and it will be a gradual thing.

Folorunsho stressed the need to be patient with the process.

“Let me assure everyone that AfCFTA has come to stay, we are working on it and the whole continent is working on it.

“Some are 10 days, one year ahead, some are just starting but it has come to stay and like any other race in life, the race is not for the swift.

“Good planning is what Nigeria is doing and now that we finally have the transportation group; we are sitting together to look at business and trade opportunities with the Office of Trade negotiation.

“We are looking at what trade is available, who needs service in what part, we are now negotiating trade opportunities for the transportation sector,” she said.

Folorunsho said that the negotiation which was among various African countries, would see Nigeria sitting across the table with countries like Sierra Leone and others.

The Co-champion, who said it was a huge task, commended the Ministry of Transportation for being on top of it, especially in terms of mode of transportation under their jurisdiction.

She, however, said that from the private sector, they would make transportation services available not only to Nigerians but to other African countries.

According to her, these Africans may not have the skill and infrastructure that Nigeria has.

“For example, in terms of ships, maritime industry, we can provide port services, it is a nightmare right now but it is not insurmountable.

“For us the shipowners, there are various African countries looking for joint venture partners for transportation services.

“Right now, we have one of the European countries with large vessels seeking the hands of Africans and Nigerians for vessels acquisitions.

“This can be done through soft loans among others, ” she said. (NAN)