The federal government has called on West and Central African nations to unite for the success and gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Infinity Tyres

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 43rd Council and 18th Managing Directors’ Roundtable of the Port Management Association of West & Central Africa (PMAWCA) in Lagos recently, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani urged for a collective action for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Ajani emphasized the vision of a united Africa, stating, that one Africa is possible if all participants countries decides to work together adding, “One Africa certainly is possible, and I urge us all to be active participants in that journey.”

Ajani while stressing the importance of the PMAWCA conference in reviewing possibilities for ports and economies under AfCFTA said, “We can only make collective progress when we work together to continue sharing experiences and best practices amongst ourselves,” she added, echoing the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

She encouraged participants to turn discussions into actionable plans and assured attendees that Nigeria, under the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would prioritise the development of the maritime sector.

“In the interest of Nigeria’s strategic interests and our common economic goals as a region with similar challenges and aspirations, the administration will continue to prioritize the development of the maritime sector,” she affirmed.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko commended the collaborative efforts during the conference and highlighted the interconnectedness of West and Central African nations.

He said, “Our geographical reality of interconnectedness and interdependence makes cooperation a necessary precondition for the collective advancement of our Ports.”

Koko acknowledged the positive outcomes of the conference, indicating that the ideas generated would guide policy formulation and government actions towards AfCFTA implementation.

The NPA MD specifically commended the President of PMAWCA, Mr. Martin Boguikouma, the Secretary General, Mr. Jean Marie Koffi, and the team from the Nigerian Ports Authority for their exceptional work in organizing the conference.

He expressed confidence that the convergence of West and Central African talent at the conference would provide direction to policy formulation and embolden government action toward AfCFTA implementation.