The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Amb. James Gbeho, has urged members of the community to promote trade among members states.Â Gbeho gave the advice in Ilorin on Thursday at a two-day national sensitisation workshop on ECOWAS Business Initiative (ECOBIZ).
He said the present level of trading among members was not acceptable. The president, who was represented by the organisationâ€s Head of Computer Centre, Dr Sola Afolabi, urged member states to harness the numerous opportunities in the region and other markets.
He pointed out that the commission recognised the significant contributions being made by small and medium entrepreneurs to the economy of the member states. Gbeho explained that trading within the sub-region by member states represented only eight per cent of the total trade in the area while members preferred to trade with Europe, America and Asia.
According to him, the commission is trying to bring tools that will encourage trading within the West African coast for the benefit of the economy of the sub-region. David Adulugba, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), explained that the workshop was to educate the business community on the use of modern tools and techniques to achieve significant successes in trade within the sub-region.
According to him, ECOBIZ is aimed at providing a database for regional business with a market approach. He added that the database would include, among other things, information about regional manufacturers, exporters, importers, transporters and service providers. The Zonal Coordinator of NEPC, Mr Samuel Bamaiyi, noted that Nigeria Export Trade (NEXPORTRADE) would establish warehouses in some strategic locations within the sub-region.