Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Finda Koroma, has called on the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANT) to have confidence in the ability of the Commission to handle disputes among member states and community citizens in line with ECOWAS protocols and utmost neutrality.
The ECOWAS Communication Division, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja, said Koroma made the call in Abuja when she received the President of the NANT, Ken Ukaoha, who led a delegation to the ECOWAS Commission.
The members of NANT were at the Commission to show appreciation to ECOWAS for the role it played in the re-opening of over four hundred shops and businesses belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.
Koroma said NANT or any party having such regional disputes should always take the path of dialogue and consultations with the Commission in order to address and find lasting solutions to the issues at hand.
Also speaking, ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Tei Konzi, said consultation is the channel in which ECOWAS Heads of States and Government resolve disputes within the region.
Konzi charged the members of NANT to sensitize Nigerians on the effectiveness of the Commission and its protocol on free movement, residence and establishment as it has just experienced it firsthand.
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“The NANT should also serve as ambassadors of ECOWAS and urge Nigerians to support the signing of the European Union-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement and the Continental Free Trade Agreement,” Konzi said.
On his part, Ukaoha expressed delight over the manner the commission moved swiftly to ensure that the shops and businesses were re-opened as a result of a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly which was held in September 2018.
He also said the development is a testament to the fact that the ECOWAS mandate of economic integration is being achieved.
“Despite the pencil which was used to draw maps in the ECOWAS region, this has shown that we are indeed one people,” Ukaoha said.