AFCTA: Saraki handed mandate on transport infrastructure

Tyavzua Saanyol | Abuja

 

THE Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, is to spearhead the work-stream on road transport infrastructure and services in readiness for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), single continental market for goods and services in Africa.

Saraki made this known when she received the Work-stream Sub-Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) in her office in Abuja.

While commending the initiative behind AfCTA, she stressed that Nigeria could only harness the potential it offers by providing enabling environments such as good access roads, stable electricity supply, and security on trade corridors so that it can become the investor’s preferred destination.

The minister said government had no other business than to render service by creating an enabling environment, noting that Nigeria under the President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration is working to revamp infrastructure so that the country can become a globally competitive economy.

She noted further that 90 per cent of people travel by road, yet it is the most neglected and most disorganised sub-sector.

The Minister of State for Transport, while appreciating the fact that the task ahead was daunting but not impossible, assured the committee of the ministry’s support in achieving the laudable objectives of AfCTA.

Earlier in his presentation, the Senior Special Assistant to the president and secretary, National Action Committee on AfCTA, Mr. Francis Anatogu argued that the situation whereby the continent spends $650 billion on importation annually, out of which 85 per cent comes in from outside of Africa is no longer acceptable.

Anatogu noted that for Nigeria to harness the potential of the agreement, the country needed to be part of the African Union’s (AU) conversation towards ensuring that policies introduced were in tandem with national laws of the country.

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