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PMB Expresses Sadness Over Apapa Gridlock

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President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that the Apapa gridlock still remains a challenge to the federal government.

Recall that the government had twice given deadlines to the relevant authorities to clear the Apapa gridlock all to no avail.

However ,speaking to a delegation of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry ,Buhari expressed sadness over the effect the gridlock was having on businesses.

He said, “ I must admit the Apapa gridlock still remains a challenge. It saddens me that businesses have had to suffer as a result of this.  We are doing our very best working with the Lagos State Government to bring an end to this issue.”

In the last four years, Buhari told the delegation, his administration has invested heavily in infrastructure development.

According to him, “ We supported our development banks to provide loans to traders and small enterprises. We signed executive orders to support local content consumption. We also focused on enhancing ease of doing business to facilitate investment.

“ Thankfully, there was alignment with the monetary authorities and this significantly contributed to the successes we are seeing today.”

The president said the consultative approach Nigeria took on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement was just another example of his administration’s desire for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Disclosing that the team visited all the geopolitical zones ,Buhari added that” we met farmers, commodity traders, manufacturers, bankers and stock brokers. And we listened and made note of their views.

“ Our studies revealed that although the services sector was doing ok, other key job creating sectors such as manufacturing and processing were still lagging behind.”

Stating that  this was evident by the fact that intra-African trade only accounts for 14 per cent of Africa’s total trade,Buhari said  as a continent, Africa’s consumption was mostly of goods imported from outside the continent. “We viewed this as both an opportunity and a threat. It is an opportunity as Nigerian manufacturers can aggressively expand to meet the huge demand across the continent. It is a threat as one can abuse the rules of origin to flood the market with imports from outside the continent thereby destroying jobs here at home.

“ Nigeria’s engagement in the next phase of the negotiations is to ensure proper safeguards are put in place to support African manufacturers. We shall continue to count on your support to ensure this goal is achieved,” he stated.

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