Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), yesterday, met in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to deliberate on issues surrounding the reopening of Nigeria’s borders.
The meeting followed the newly constituted committee of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government headed by President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso saddled with the responsibility of studying and making a full report on Nigeria’s land border closure with neighbouring countries.
The Communications Division of the ECOWAS Commission, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja, said ECOWAS is holding a high level meeting of technical meeting of the Directors General of Customs and Trade, as well as the Directors of the ECOWAS National Unit of Burkina Faso and Nigeria on the assessment of the situation of the closure of land borders of Nigeria to goods.
The commission added that the two-day meeting will assess the situation of the closure of the land borders of Nigeria to goods, pursue the overall objective to reach an acceptable solution by all parties and propose actions for the rapid reopening of the land borders of Nigeria for the free movement of goods.
Speaking during the meeting, the Director of the ECOWAS National Office of Burkina Faso, Madame Bernadette Marie Conrad Nikiema, highlighted the importance of the meeting for integration in the region.
“Your presence at this meeting testifies your constantly renewed commitment to make our region a truly integrated sub-region; economically prosperous and free of all barriers and obstacles, in accordance with the spirit of the founding fathers of ECOWAS,” Nikiema said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Trade, Customs and Free Movement of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Tèi Konzi noted the ECOWAS member states’ commitment to build the customs union on solid foundations.
Konzi encouraged participants to take active part in the meeting in order to come up with concrete proposals for the reopening of Nigeria’s land borders to goods.
“The meeting of the experts is in preparation of the meeting of ministers responsible for ECOWAS Affairs, Finance and Trade from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo scheduled to hold on 15th February, 2020 in Ouagadougou,” the ECOWAS Commission said.