Liam Thompson
Mon, Sep 11, 2023 1:05 PM

ECOWAS Ranks Low in Trading Among West African Countries, Nigeria Customs Expresses Disappointment

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ECOWAS Ranks Low in Trading Among West African Countries, Nigeria Customs Expresses Disappointment
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed disappointment over the poor trading performance of West African countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Despite having a significant population advantage, ECOWAS ranks fourth in intra-African trade, lagging behind other regional trade blocs. The Customs Area Controller, Compt. Dera Nnadi, highlighted factors such as non-adherence to transit agreements and border closure. The NCS pledges to adopt strategies to boost trade and enforce anti-smuggling laws.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed disappointment over the poor trading performance of West African countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Despite having a significant population advantage, ECOWAS ranks fourth in intra-African trade, lagging behind other regional trade blocs.

The Customs Area Controller, Compt. Dera Nnadi, speaking at the Seme Border Command, highlighted the need for ECOWAS countries to maximize their trade potential. He stated that out of all the trade blocs in Africa, ECOWAS ranks low at 10 percent in trade within the continent. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a population of 69.2 million people leads the way at 32.12 percent, followed by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) at 20.32 percent, and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) at 16.59 percent.

This ranking indicates the inadequacy of ECOWAS in harnessing the potential offered by its population. Nnadi emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of the Economic Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) to boost regional trade within the ECOWAS subregion. He also points out that the current ranking highlights the limited preparedness for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Nnadi also expressed concern about the poor trading relationship between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. Factors such as non-adherence to transit agreements under ECOWAS, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff, and the border closure have contributed to this issue.

To address these challenges, Nnadi pledged to adopt new strategies aimed at boosting trade and enforcing anti-smuggling laws. He highlights the lifting of the ban on the export of goods imported into Nigeria, which presents an opportunity for stakeholders to take advantage of increased trade. Nnadi also calls for reciprocity from neighboring countries, particularly the Republic of Benin, to address existing trade barriers.

The Customs boss also took the opportunity to share the achievements of the Seme Border Command, which recorded various seizures within the review period. These seizures include foreign parboiled rice, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), general merchandise goods, hard drugs, narcotics, and cigarettes, among others.

In conclusion, the Nigeria Customs Service expresses disappointment over the poor trading performance among West African countries within ECOWAS. Addressing factors such as non-adherence to transit agreements and border closure will be crucial to improving trading relationships. The NCS commits to adopting new strategies to boost trade and enforce anti-smuggling laws, as well as encouraging stakeholders to take advantage of recent policy measures. The aim is to maximize the opportunities presented by the proximity of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin to enhance trade along the corridor.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-11 News

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