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Nigeria accounts for over 60 per cent products under ECOWAS Trade Scheme-Minister

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, says Nigeria has over 60 per cent products under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).

He also said the country also had over 2,400 companies and 6,900 products under the scheme.

Mr Dada said this at the opening of the National Consultation Workshop on the ECOWAS Post 2020 Vision on Thursday in Abuja.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (MBNP), in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission.

He said the authority of Heads of State and Government during its Ordinary Session in June 2007, had adopted the transformation ECOWAS vision 2020.

He said it was aimed at setting clear directions and goals to significantly raise the standard of living of the people through conscious and inclusive programmes.

Mr Dada stated that the ECOWAS had established a roadmap to come up with a post 2020 vision for the sub-region.

He added that the objective of the workshop was to assess the ECOWAS vision 2020 and to ensure that the ECOWAS post vision reflected the country’s national interest and regional aspiration.

“The goal of the workshop is to articulate the views of various stakeholders on the impact of ECOWAS vision 2020, the expectation of the people of Nigeria with regards to the formulations of ECOWAS vision 2050 document,” he said.

Mr Dada said remarkable achievements have been recorded in the past years.

“Positive developments in the West African Countries, including continuous efforts being made to carry out political, constitutional and security sector reform, to improve good governance and democracy, among other achievements,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary of MBNP, Olusola Idowu, represented by David Adeosun, Director Macroeconomic Department in the ministry, said that the workshop would hold in the six geopolitical zones in the country.

Mrs Idowu explained that the workshop would have presentations on economic, social and political challenges affecting ECOWAS member countries and the sub-region in general.

She said, “The consultation is to ensure that the post 2020 vision reflects the needs and aspirations of the citizenry.

“It will also bring the people together in a Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) forum to share ideas.”

The Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Finda Koroma, explained that during the period of implementation of the post 2020 vision, remarkable achievement was recovered.

Mr Koroma was represented by Halima Ahmed, Commissioner for Finance in the ECOWAS Commission.

He said the launch of the ECOWAS common passport, brown cards, ECOWAS National Biometric Card and all other travel related documentations would allow community citizens to move freely without visa from one country to another within the region.

“Consolidation of our custom union with the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET) and other trade facilitating instruments have contributed significantly to growth in both formal and informal trade in our region, among others” Mr Koroma said.

(NAN)

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