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Expert urges govt to establish national shipping line

By on March 24, 2011

AN export trade facilitator, Mr. Mohammed Abdulsalam, has advised the Federal Government to establish a national shipping line to ease movement of Nigerian products to other West African countries.

Abdulsalam, Managing Director of Nexportrade Houses Limited, an export facilitating company, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos recently.

According to him, it is very important for a country like Nigeria to have a national shipping line.           .

Abdulsalam said that Nigerian producers needed to go out to other countries to showcase their products more than ever before.

“There is need for Nigerian manufacturers to be more aggressive in marketing their products by participating in trade fairs in other West African countries. There is need to consolidate our presence in markets in other West African countries. If Federal Government has a national shipping line that goes to these countries, it will make exports cheaper and safer,” he said.

Abdulsalam said that the current costs of transporting goods, particularly to land locked countries, were very high.             .

“The freight rates to countries that have ports on the West Coast of Africa are still very high. The frequency of ships that go there is very low.”

“These are some of the challenges we face and the confluence liners are only interested in cargoes going to Europe,” he said.

Abdulsalam expressed regret that trade among countries in the African continent were still very low and nexportrade houses were to facilitate trade among these countries.

NAN reports that the Export Promotion Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) pioneered the establishment of nexportrade houses.

Nexportrade houses are to serve as a secure platform for increased and better organised trade among business groups in the ECOWAS member states and other African nations.

Source : Guardian