By Favour Nnabugwu
Unrecorded trade within ECOWAS countries may soon be a thing of the past, as plans are underway to establish warehouses at Maradi and Birnin Konni in Niger Republic under the auspices of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission (NNJC).
The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, David Adulugba Esq. said this yesterday in Abuja while inaugurating the Interim Management Committee (IMC) on the Non-oil Export Products Warehouses at Maradi and Birnin Konni in Niger Republic , and Collection Centres in Jibia and Illela in Kastina and Sokoto States respectively.
This is in furtherance of the approval by the Council of Ministers of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation for the establishment of these warehouses during the Council’s meeting in Dutse Jigawa State , in 2008. The decision of the Council of Ministers gave the responsibility of the physical establishment of the warehouses to the Council.
The NEPC boss disclosed that the objectives for setting up the warehouses include among others the need to reduce informal export of Nigerian goods by some exporters, mitigate the cost of logistics associated with exporting within the sub-region, curb the activities of smugglers along the border post as well as serve as an effective market entry strategy for Nigerian goods.
The project has immense potentials to generate income, employment and investment in the two countries when it eventually comes on stream, apart from assisting in formalizing unrecorded trade between our countries.
Speaking in the same vein, the Secretary-General of the Commission, Ambassador A. Abduljalil, said there was need to engage a Consultant to draw-up a feasibility study, work plan and budget for the establishment of the warehouses.
The IMC comprises NEPC, NNJC, Conference of Northern Chambers of Commerce, Nigerian Customs Services, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, FACAN, Consul General of Niger in Kano , Representatives of States involved both in Nigeria and Niger and ECObank. NEPC serves as the Secretariat.
It will be recalled that the NEPC has earlier spearheaded the establishment of similar structures (known as NEXPOTRADE House), in Lagos and its environs, to provide warehousing facilities for Nigerian exporters on the West African coast.