Ezenwa stated this in a paper titled “Logistics and Trade Facilitation’’ made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
She presented the paper at the 4th Women in Logistics and Transport, Nigeria (WILAT) Day 2016 Conference which ended on Thursday evening.
According to her, world trade continues to grow and shipping has responded to the increased demand for its services.
“As world seaborne trade continues to expand, infrastructure struggles to keep pace,’’ Ezenwa said.
She mentioned the challenges to trade facilitation and logistics like: bureaucracy/red tapism, lack of supporting infrastructure, policy somersault and inconsistency, poor human resource capacity development.
Ezenwa also noted that there were low pace in the application and development of Information Communication Technology (ICT), as well as corruption and low level of integrity.
She added that reducing the challenges by half would raise global trade by an estimated 15 per cent and global production by five per cent.
Ezenwa said that the providers of logistics services today operated under obsolete rules, adding that governments around the world seemed unable to undertake reforms chiefly because of domestic political forces.
She highlighted key barriers to trade comprising lack of international electronic trading standards, protection of markets, bureaucratic border controls, poor infrastructure, criminal activity and lack of training.
Ezenwa advised governments to place logistics efficiency at the forefront of reform programmes.
“In the end, no matter what other trade liberalisation is successfully accomplished, goods must be delivered to customers on their timetables.
“There is need for greater investment in infrastructure and a greater balance between environmental sensitivities and the needs of international, multi-modal business.
According to her, the industry needs integrated transport policies.
The President, WILAT, Nigeria, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, said that the international body of the association was focusing on mentoring in assisting more women to excel in Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment and Social Responsibility.
Ali-Ibrahim said that mentoring was indeed an irreplaceable ladder to sustainable development, adding that mentoring should be applied in all spheres of life and should be related to all areas of human endeavours.
She said that WILAT was a strong professional team that enabled women keyed into gender opportunities and government policies.
Ali-Ibrahim described WILAT as a forum for networking locally and internationally and empowered women by equipping them professionally.
She said that the different transport modes and business activities existing in the industry made it necessary for the coming together of the persons operating within the system.
“Forming an association has enabled members to have a common professional voice that can easily key into gender programmes and government policies both locally and internationally.
“The synergy among transport operators who are members has enabled us to be more effective, better celebrated and adequately recognised.
“WILAT serves as a pool for competent women in the industry and the association also sources, grooms, sustains and recognises
women in the male- dominated industry,” WISTA president told NAN.
She said that networking gave room for flexibility in career growth and development through the Chartered Institute of Logistics and
Ali-Ibrahim said that “the CILT provides a holistic approach to solving issues in the industry.’’
She noted that WILAT “is a unique group and the first of its kind in Nigeria, with members cutting across various disciplines in logistic and transport’’.
Ali-Ibrahim said that there was no doubt that with the international professional body of WILAT being a career partner, the association would make a remarkable impact in the maritime industry.
Also speaking the Chairperson, WILAT Sri Lanka, Mrs Gayani De Alwis, said that there was need to empower women.
She said that, “If a woman is empowered, she will feed the family and also extend to the society at large,’’
De Alwis, who spoke on “Mentoring: The Irreplaceable Ladder to Sustainable Development’’, said that it was good to have professional women in place for the economy to flourish.
She said that women should endeavour to mentor their young ones to climb the ladder.
De Alwis urged mentors to try and understand their mentee to enable them to achieve to see hope in themselves.
She said that the stages of a mentoring relationship were goal attainment, working together, setting expectation and pairing.
“If a mentor does not have the right partner to mentor, there will be problem of understanding one another.
The mentor should lift the spirit of mentee and with that, you are assisting other people to climb the ladder, ‘’ NAN quotes De Alwis as saying.
While unveiling the WILAT Impact, Mentoring Programme, the new Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, urged women in the maritime industry to engage in mentoring other women in logistics to complement men’s efforts in the industry.
Usman said that there was no successful professional or leaders that did not pass through a mentor either personally or imbibing the principle of a successful professional to climb the ladder.
She also urged WILAT Nigeria, being the first umbrella body in transport modes such as maritime, land, railway, road aviation and pipeline to encourage more women in logistics and transport.
“I have been informed about the impact of WILAT globally. I commend their zeal,’’ NAN quotes Usman as saying.
“I will accord you my maximum support so as to jointly make the maritime industry the envy of all, ‘’ she said.
The Chairman, Logistics and Operations Committee of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Hajia Amina Zakari, urged WILAT to encourage more women to embrace logistics operation as a business.
Zakari said that the association should engage more members in training and should also assist members to access soft loans to enable
them excel in the profession.
She urged WILAT as well as similar organisations to sponsor bills and amendment to existing laws that would enhance logistic operations.
Zakari, however, advised WILAT executives to always be abreast of information on change in the International Rules, Conventions and Agreements with regard to logistics operations.
In her remarks, a maritime expert, Hajia Lami Tumaka, urged Nigerian women to develop themselves properly and challenge men in all areas of human endeavours rather than clamouring for gender sensitivity.
Tumaka, who is the Head, Corporate Communications Team of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that
Hillary Clinton emerged the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of the United States because of self-confidence.
“I foresee a time when women will indeed take up more positions of authority in our country and by our compassion and care, I have no doubt that we will make better leaders.
“The opportunities are there. All we need to do is to take it.
“I will not conclude this talk if I do not quote Michelle Obama at the ongoing Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the American first lady gave what is arguably the most powerful speech so far,’’ she said.
Tumaka said that, “Because of Hillary Clinton, all our sons and daughters now believe that it is possible for a woman to be the president of the United States.’’
“This means that Hillary Clinton’s tenacity is an example to learn from,’’ NAN quotes her as saying.
She also urged the women to emulate the Late Mrs Margaret Thatcher, who became the Prime Minister of Britain in 1979 due to her outstanding performance.