Experts set national logistics plan in motion

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Stakeholders in the logistics sector have agreed to work together to craft a national logistics strategic plan in order to pilot Nigeria into a truly diversified and competitive economy. The agreement was reached at the maiden edition of the National Logistics Strategy Summit .

The summit with the theme ‘Building National Logistics Strategy for Better Economic Diversification’ was organised by the African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC) to encourage the emergence of a public private partnership geared towards a strong national logistics strategy. It was also a platform used to unveil the first Nigerian Logistic and Supply Chain Industry Report.

According to Obiora Madu, director-general, ACSC, “The objective of the report is to assist professionals with information and data for their daily operations, as well as helping policy makers with policy decisions. As data continues to grow rapidly, so is the expectation on how to analyse it faster. Like a quest for oil, with big data, it takes educated drilling to reveal a well of valuable information. This is the challenge this report has resolved.”

Ken Ife, co-chair, EU-Africa Business Task Force Summit Group (Trade Working Group), who reviewed the report, noted that there was a need to articulate clear vision and implementable objectives in the sector and sub-sectors.

There was also a need to review the legislative, regulatory policy framework and reform agenda, and in particular, approaches to increased private sector engagement through deregulation, commercialisation, privatisation and public-private partnership.

“The future remains bright as the industry is forecast to grow by 5.19 percent to N157.3 billion in 2016 in the African continent and for Nigeria, the growth has somewhat slowed from 6.1 percent (2004 – 2009) to 4.8 percent (2009 – 2014) with the dominant modes remaining road freight haulage (51.5 percent) and sea shipping (43.9 percent). Over 80 percent of heavy duty haulage in Nigeria is by road.

“The logistics sector is estimated at well over N200 billion and grows at an annual rate of 10 percent. Deregulatory pressures and investment have led to increased professionalism and modernization of the haulage and logistics companies,” said Ife.

The global tendency towards a diversified export based economy and the urgent need to expedite the process of economic growth and development, according to A.G. Sumaila, Chairman Governing Council, ACSC, has made it imperative to come up with a national logistics strategy.

“For any economy, the logistics sector, encompassing transportation, warehousing, cargo consolidation and border clearances, would form the backbone of its trade, and associated economic activity and growth of key sectors.

“The cost of trading whether by sea, land or air forms a critical component of the final price of a commodity. An efficient logistics system reduces this cost, providing a comparative edge and propelling economic activity,” said Sumaila.

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