Saraki to lead transport infrastructure work-stream ahead of AfCFTA takeoff
The Honourable minkster of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, would be leading the “Work-stream on Road Transport Infrastructure and Services in readiness for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” which will be driving a single continental market for goods and services in the Africa.
Contained in a statement on Wednesday, Saraki made the disclosure while hosting the Work-stream Sub-Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area, in her office in Abuja.
She commended the initiative behind AfCTA, saying that Nigeria could only reap the mileage by providing enabling environment such as good access roads, stable electricity supply, and security along trade corridors to attract both local and foreign investors.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that “government has no business in business, but to render service by creating an enabling environment,” as she highlighted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration commitment to revamp infrastructure to make Nigeria globally competitive, and added tht the ministry remained committed as well to supporting the goals of the AfCFTA.
Earlier in his presentation, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCTA, Mr. Francis Anatogu, said it was no longer acceptable to have the African Continent continue to spend about $650 billion on importation annually, out of which 85% comes in from outside of Africa.
He added that for Nigeria to harness the potentials of the agreement, she needs to be part of the African Union’s conversation towards ensuring that policies introduced are in agreement with national laws of the country.
Reacting to the issue of funding as the reason Nigeria has not fared well, acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Husseini Adamu, said the committee had the responsibility to justify why money should be allocated to it, adding that ideas and proposals put forward must be easily understood and comprehensible.