Ten products have been identified as major needs in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries which Nigeria can leverage on to boost exports into the sub-region.
Although they are being imported into the region from various parts of the world, a committee set up to enhance the movement of goods within the ECOWAS believes the products offer a window of opportunity for Nigerian manufacturers to dominate plug into.
The goods include vehicles, tractors, cycles, machinery, mechanical appliances and boilers, cereals, fuel, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fish and seafood.
The committee comprises the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which was set up to enhance the movement of goods within ECOWAS.
At the committee’s inauguration tagged: “Nigeria ECOWAS Export Development”, it was noted that the West African sub-region is a huge market with potential for growth if well harnessed by member states.
LCCI president, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, noted that the forum presented an opportunity to review the state of economic integration in the sub-region, identify the challenges and proffer solutions, especially from the private sector perspective.
“For too long, private sector organisations and institutions have confined themselves to the comfort of their individual countries, while our counterparts in other parts of the world are advancing the frontiers of their economies and markets through integration.
“In these days of the growing forces of globalisation, this individualistic disposition and outlook may not be sustainable. We need to broaden our perspectives and thinking beyond our individual countries. We should begin to develop not only national, but also continental and global outlook for our businesses and economies,” Ruwase said.
He emphasised the need to tackle current frustrating barriers to trade in the sub-region, noting that the trade treaties were not being implemented.