The National Association of Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) has called on the federal government to reduce the multiple checkpoints along the Lagos-Badagry corridor and other entry points across the six geopolitical zones in order to encourage Nigeria participation in the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Fielding questions from newsmen, the President General of the foremost freight forwarding group, Prince Adeyinka Bakare expressed concerns over the multiple checkpoints manned by security agencies and touts , noting that the illegalities would further affect foreign and local investments.

Addressing members of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) at Apapa, Bakare lamented that Nigerian businesses may suffer major setbacks if government fails to resolve the bottlenecks on the movement of goods from all the entry points and international frontiers into the country.

Emphasising that Nigerian goods and services have potential to compete favourably in the region, Bakare revealed that the association has engaged governments at all levels in furtherance of tackling the illegalities along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor .

He said, “There are only five checkpoints between Ghana and Benin but Nigeria has over 30 checkpoints manned by operatives of the government who are there to extort legal and legitimate traders and if you fail to comply, your goods are at risk”.

Bakare who doubles as the Managing Director, De Potter Nigeria Limited told journalists that trade barriers must be eliminated for the country to participate fully in AfCFTA, calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to reduce the number of checkpoints along the routes to encourage international trade.

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The NAFFAC boss explained that Nigeria stands a chance to benefit immensely in the exportation of her commodities to other countries of the continent if well harnessed.

While reiterating the association’s commitment towards encouraging export, Bakare expressed that freight forwarding business is beyond import, urging government to look inward to put in place policies to drive export.

According to him, the poor foreign exchange rates against the Naira have also discouraged international trade but expressed optimism that non -oil export would further grow the economy when government prioritizes cargo export.

“Government needs to listen to this call because all our export supposed to be on CIF which is Cost Insurance and Freight and not the other way round.

“The issue of multiple checkpoints along the entry points is killing the business and it will affect the AfCFTA. The multiple checkpoints are not limited to Lagos-Abidjan corridor alone. It is common in the northern region of the country and government is not doing anything about it. This government should further encourage non-oil export to tackle the fall of our Naira”, he remarked.