25 September 2015, Lagos – Maritime and trade in the sub-Sahara Africa region has experienced unprecedented growth and could contribute as much as $50 billion annually to the economy in the next few years, a former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi has said.
Sarumi, who spearheaded the port reforms, which led to the successful concession of the nation’s seaports during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, noted that the maritime sector of the economy had recorded an unprecedented growth in the last few years.
He spoke against the backdrop of the International Sea Trade and Investment Convention’s scheduled to hold in Lagos between 5th and 6th of October, 2015.
His words: “Maritime and trade in the Sub-Saharan Africa region has experienced an unprecedented growth in the last few years, contributing over $15billion annually to Nigeria’s economy. But this can grow to as much as $50 billion in the next couple of years.”
Sarumi pointed out that the convention is to identify impediments to export trade restrictions, facilities and regulations within the maritime industry.
He explained that the event is planned to create the platform for stakeholders to develop a roadmap to address issues of products, standardisation, financing, incentives and the lack of infrastructure plaguing the industry.
Sarumi, who is the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the convention, noted that the event has been planned to further buoy up Nigeria’s export trade and maritime industry, particularly in the area of making it attractive to global buyers and foreign investors.
He said the two-day event with the theme “Exploring New Trade Frontiers” would have the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) as the keynote speaker.
He explained that participants at the convention would also brainstorm on development of viable import/export markets, standardisation of goods and services to meet global certification for export, import and finance, market linkage, trade and infrastructure investments.
“We plan to bring the best minds to this two day convention with conference and exhibition that will feature interactive discussion, high level networking and unrivalled business intelligence through participation of the industry’s foremost stakeholders, decision makers, investors and trade specialists.
“The convention will set the stage, to further consolidate Nigeria’s position as a regional trade, maritime and logistics hub in Africa. This is aimed at supporting government’s diversification programme to reduce the country’s dependence on oil,” he said.
According to Sarumi, the event will also create a conducive environment that would recognise and encourage the importance of partnerships with key stakeholders across the globe. The International Sea Trade and Investment Convention (ISTI) 2015 will attract about 500 delegates from all over the world, with participation cutting across respective trade and investment departments from Europe, Asia, North America, South America and the Middle East for which confirmation has already been received.
It was gathered that the convention is being promoted by the Logistics Event Company in partnership with the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), partners and sponsors.
THISDAY checks revealed that the federal government’s vision of addressing new and direct trade route between Nigeria and her leading trading partners, particularly the enhancement of cross border potential along the regional trade corridor is expected to get a giant boost as stakeholders assemble for the convention regarded as the first of its kind in the country.
- This Day