Shippers’ Council partners USAID, Sets up BIC @ Seme

Shippers’ Council partners USAID
… Sets up BIC @ Seme

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC),in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has set up a Border Information Centre {BIC) at Seme border station, aimed at reducing trade barriers in the West African sub-region.
Addressing journalists at the Seme border yesterday, Director, Commercial Shipping Services, NSC, Mrs Dabney Shal-Homa, stated that there is need for the collaboration in order to encourage intra-Africa trade.
She said that, while the Council is committed to promoting legitimate trade in West Africa, trading within the region has not been favourable due to border constraints.
She noted that Nigeria handles about 70 per cent of trade in West and Central Africa, hence the need to address the constraints, which, according to her, man-made.

“We felt there is need for this collaboration. Hitherto, we had a situation, whereby the countries in West and Central Africa are not gaining from each other and we want to encourage that intra Africa trade,” she said.
She added: “We have looked at the disconnect and find out all the gridlocks are manmade and we felt that this was a responsibility we at Nigeria Shippers Council should take serious.”
Also speaking, Director, Business Environment, USAID, Dr. Shola Afolabi, said that the BIC is set up to provide assistance to shippers.
He said that most of the problems encountered by traders at the border is as a result of lack of information, which the BIC seeks to address.
“Once the traders knows their right, nobody will harass them,” he said.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of the Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Port Health Service, and Nigeria Police Force (NPF), amongst others.

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