By Nana Musa/ Lizzy Okoji
Abuja, Aug. 20, 2020 Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada says Nigeria accounts for more than 60 per cent of products under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
He also said the country also had no fewer than 2,400 companies and 6,900 products under the scheme.
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.
According to him, 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.
According to Dada, ECOWAS has 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 sub-regional body’s vision 2020 and to ensure that the its 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.
Dada added that remarkable achievements had been recorded in the years past.
“Positive developments (have been made in) the West African countries, including continuous efforts to carry out political, constitutional, and security sector reforms to improve good governance and democracy, among other achievements,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary of MBNP, Mrs Olusola Idowu, who wasb represented by Mr David Adeosun, Director of the Macroeconomic Department in the ministry, said that the workshop would hold in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Idowu explained that the workshop would witness 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 reflect the needs and aspirations of the citizenry.
“It will also bring the people together in a Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) forum to share ideas.”
Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Finda Koroma explained that during the period of implementation of the post 2020 vision, remarkable achievements were recorded.
Koroma was represented by Hajiya Halima Ahmed, Commissioner for Finance in the commission.
He said the launch of ECOWAS common passport, brown cards, ECOWAS National Biometric Card, and all other travel-related documentations would enable community citizens to move freely without visa from one country to another within the sub-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,” Koroma said.
The workshop was jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (MBNP), in collaboration with ECOWAS Commission.