FG moves to boost export via ECOWAS trade treaty

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Dr Omar Touray, President, ECOWAS Commission.
ECOWAS Commission President, Dr Omar Touray.

The Federal Government has called on Nigerian businesses and manufacturers to take advantage of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalism Scheme (ETLS) treaty to boost the country’s export basket.

Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of  Foreign Affairs, said this in his message  to a one-day Sensitization Workshop on the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) in Awka, the capital of Anambra, on Friday.

The workshop has as its theme: “Exploring the Benefit of ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme in the Region.”

Tuggar was represented by Amb. Obinna Onuwu, Director of International Organisations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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He said the essence of the workshop was to bring information on procedures, requirements and benefits of ETLS  to the doorsteps of the Southeast business community.

Tuggar said the workshop, which was the third in its series since 2020 was to ensure that all Nigerian manufacturers took advantage of the scheme.

The ETLS initiative of ECOWAS aims to enhance cooperation and integration in trade, ensuring economic stability by creating an economic union within the region for the wellbeing of the citizens of the community.

He said ETLS would give local manufacturers access to a market of over 400 million consumers across the 15 ECOWAS member states.

According to Tuggar, it will also expand their customer base, boost revenues and make significant contributions to the nation’s overall economic growth and prosperity.

The minister emphasised that the workshop would provide firsthand information on how to navigate the ETLS regulatory frameworks and enhance competitiveness.

“Presently, Nigeria has 946 enterprises with over 10,000 products.

“The primary goal is to establish a Customs Union among all Member States, with the ultimate objective of completely eliminatíng Customs duties and implementing a unified Customs policy.

“It represents an ideal opportunity to foster greater economic integration, and unlock the immense potential of intra-regional trade.

“Our presence here, underscores Federal Government’s collective commitment to harnessing the power of trade as a catalyst for growth and prosperity,” he said.

The minister called on businessmen and women in Anambra and the entire South East geopolitical zone to take advantage of the opportunity and register their companies into the scheme to enjoy the numerous benefits therein.

On his part, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra said how external trade was facilitated was important to the prosperity of business and health of the economy.

Soludo, who was represented by Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, his Chief of Staff, said his government would continue to support business with his numerous friendly policies which earned Anambra the best rated state in Ease of Doing Business in the entire Southern Nigeria.

He urged businesses to embrace ETLS and participate competitively in the West African subregional market.

On his part, Chief Humphrey Ngonadi, President Southeast Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture lauded the Federal Government for the treaty and efforts at sensitising the people.

Ngonadi said it had become necessary that business owners became aware of opportunities to trade around and key into them.

Presentations were made by representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Investment, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control, among others.(NAN)

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