The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NCS); Mr Hassan Bello has said that Nigeria required N100 billion every year to bridge infrastructure deficit for the next 30 years in the country.
Bello disclosed stated this recently in Lagos during the second transport leadership lecture organised by Kings Communication Limited with the theme “Leadership in A Next level,” said it is necessary to tell the government the truth that there are infrastructural deficit and government has to create a conducive environment because the operative atmosphere for businesses is a little bit harsh.
He added: “We have challenges, a lot of it, but it is not insurmountable, when I look at the deficit in infrastructure for example and someone said we need N3 trillion to make up for our deficit, that means about N100 billion every year for the next 30 years.
“I am not down cast by that, what I see is opportunities. like I used to say, you can’t go to Canada and have that N3 trillion because they have done everything, but here we are about to built and so we should not be daunted by the challenges but rather we should be rejuvenated by the opportunities. We have to do a lot of things in the various subsectors of the economy and I think the African Continental Free Trade Agreement ( AfCFTA) could be the spur that we need.”
“In AfCFTA, we are talking about a N2 trillion economy, we are talking about 1.2 billion people, we are talking about 54 countries, and we are talking about our population and the cost of production under operation. And Nigeria must be geared to challenge itself on this transportation. I have always said we need to have imperial outlook to this trade negotiations, and Nigeria is so big that it cannot be treated with other countries.”
He emphasised that Nigeria as a country must have some advantages, as a matter of fact Nigeria is already the hub, everything will be focused on Nigeria.
He stated that, “we will strain to have fair competition but leadership is completely important. So on behalf on NCS which is contributing to bridging the deficit in Nigeria, an happy to announced that cargo is now been transported to Kaduna inland dry port by train on a weekly bases.”
“There are challenges but shipping is coming to dry land. We are going to sign the Ibadan with $500 million facility, which is going to be modern and we have to make it distinct to remove what’s happening at the seaport, and we are already winning because we have started receiving cargoes from our competitors.”
Said he: “Although we have a challenge of interconnectivity, which is being solved now, and this shows that government is poised to make a difference, by the time the infrastructure around Apapa is mitigated we will see a resemblance of order, but we are already having a short medium and long term solutions.”