NEPC, LCCI move to ease Nigeria’s export within ECOWAS
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and regulatory agencies in the export sector such as the Nigeria Customs Service, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control have formed a committee with the aim of facilitating movement of Nigerian goods through markets in the Economic Community of West African States.
During the inauguration of the committee tagged ‘Nigeria ECOWAS Export Development’, the stakeholders noted that the West African sub-region was a huge market with huge potential for growth if well harnessed by member states.
According to the committee, the potential of export from Nigeria into the ECOWAS region can be seen in the items of import into the region from Asia, America and Europe.
It listed the top 10 products being imported into the region from different parts of the world to include fuels, motor vehicles, tractors, cycles, and other vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances and boilers, cereals, plastics, iron work, pharmaceuticals, fish and seafood.
In his remarks, the President, LCCI, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, noted that the forum presented an opportunity to review the state of the economic integration in the sub-region, identify the challenges and proffer solutions, especially from private sector perspective.
He said, “For too long, private sector organisations and institutions have confined themselves to the comfort of their individual countries, while our counterparts in other parts of the world are advancing the frontiers of their economies and markets through integration.
“In these days of the growing forces of globalisation, this individualistic disposition and outlook may not be sustainable. We need to broaden our perspectives and thinking beyond our individual countries. We should begin to develop not only national but also continental and global outlook for our businesses and economies.”
Ruwase emphasised the need to tackle current frustrating barriers to trade in the sub-region, noting that the trade treaties were not being implemented.
He added, “Compliance levels are very low and commitment to the trade protocols is very weak. After 43 years of ECOWAS, we are still grappling with numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.”