Nigeria has over 2,400 companies, as well as over 6,900 products under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
The newsmen report that the ETLS is a trade instrument designed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The scheme offers unhindered market access to the fifteen member countries and promotes economic relations within the sub-region. Countries covered by the Scheme are; Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde.
Mr Joseph Oyi, Head of ECOWAS Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated this at the Consultative Workshop of ECOWAS Post 2020 Vision, on Monday in Kano.
Oyi, represented by Tajuddeen Abdulkadir, ECOWAS unit of the foreign ministry, said the establishment of the companies were part of the achievements recorded by the ECOWAS 2020 Vision, adding that the scheme had reduced trade barriers on the borders by 95 per cent.
”Presently; Nigeria has over 2, 400 companies with more than 6,900 products under the scheme. Nigeria alone accounts for 60 to 70 per cent the products under the ETLS.”
The ECOWAS official said the Commission in collaboration with partners had set up Joint Border Posts to fast track border management and free movement of persons, goods and services in the region.
Oyi listed the posts to include: Seme-Krake between Nigeria and Benin; Hillacondji-Sanveecondjo between Togo and Benin; Neope-Akanu between Togo and Ghana, and Noe-Elubo between Ghana and Cote D’ Iviore.
Other were Kouremale between Mali and Benin as well as Malaville between Benin and Niger Republic.
He added that the ECOWAS also recorded modest achievements in the area of security, political and constitutional reforms to improve good governance and democracy in many countries in the region.
“The region facilitated peaceful and democratic change of governments in the Gambia; Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Nigeria, Mali, Togo and Senegal,” he said.
According to him, the Workshop is designed to articulate on the views of stakeholders on the impact of the ECOWAS 2020 Vision.
Oyi added that it was also designed to gather views of the people of Nigeria with regard to the formulations of the ECOWAS 2050.
“The aim is to have a discussion with stakeholders on the ECOWAS Post 2020 Vision.
“The vision borders on a strategy or plan whereby the Commission is moving from the ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of the People.
“This means that all activities of ECOWAS should be people-oriented, people inclusiveness in its programmes such as education and democracy among others.
“We are looking at how education in the region will be harmonised so that we don’t have a disparity in the education certificate.
“And within the member states education certificate can be used without problems,” he added.
Also speaking, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, said the forum would avail stakeholders the opportunities to present details on economic, social and political challenges of member states.
Ganduje, represented by Musa Yahaya-Bichi, Permanent Secretary Cabinet Office, said it would also enable the people to express their views on the achievements of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 as well as the long term aspirations of the region.
He urged the participants to make positive contributions to enable the forum to achieve its objectives.
It was reported that the workshop was attended by government officials, security agencies, representatives of the academia, financial and business communities in the state.