THE Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, NCS, is currently in talks with its Ghanaian counterpart to form a regional body with a view to solving cross-border trade challenges in the sub-region. Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report in Lagos, Director General of the Chambers, Mrs. Obiageli Obi, said that a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, has been drawn up and signed by some countries.
Obi also said that the formation of a regional chamber was currently waiting to be launched as soon as funds for the ceremony are made available. She explained that Chambers of Shipping are private sector driven advocacy organization that could bridge the gap between government and players in the international trade, adding that African governments need groups like the chambers to help galvanize trade within the region and across the borders. The NCS boss further stated that while Ghana was trying to talk to other countries to see the need to form this regional group, Nigeria was also doing the same with the hope of having the entire region on the same page in tackling trade challenges facing the region. She stated: “We are in talks with Ghana, Sierra-Leone and other countries just as Ghana is also talking to other countries over these issues affecting regional integration. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been drawn, we will sign it and the project launched soon. “We want to take the regional issues and talk about them amongst ourselves and see how we can get regional shipping to work, see how we can get connectivity within the sub-region and all these border issues can be dealt with by the various Chambers of Shipping. “Lome can come to Nigeria and discuss their problem under the auspices of the Chamber of Shipping with Nigeria concerning that because we have counterparts who believe in the same thing. All we want is the flow of regional trade. “The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and the Ghanaian Chamber of Shipping are legacy partners because we initiated the Regional Chamber of Shipping we have had meetings in Ghana and we have had meetings in Nigeria and we have signed off.”