By Kenneth Jukpor
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with the Borderless Alliance would organize a one-day workshop on the dissemination of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalization Scheme ‘ETLS’ handbook on March 14th, 2019.
At the workshop which takes place at the Shippers’ Council headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, NSC would launch the ETLS handbook which contains protocols and procedures for some classified processed cereals such as maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, etc.
The handbook which was developed by Borderless Alliance and UKaids for West Africa food market in 2018, also identifies the common barriers to stakeholders involved in cross border trade as well as key organisations and officials for the implementation of ETLS in Nigeria, Benin,Niger, Burkina Faso. Mali, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana and Togo.
Speaking on the importance of the workshop and launch of the handbook, the Director, Consumer Affairs Department at NSC, Chief Cajetan Agu told MMS Plus that the purpose of the event was to create awareness among cross-border traders on the processes, procedures and documentation requirements guiding the import and export of processed cereal in West Africa.
According to him, the scheme is expected to remove obstacle to cross border trade and will benefit the small scale traders in West Africa by increasing their revenue earning, job creation and poverty reduction.
The NSC boss urged maritime stakeholders especially freight forwarders to attend the workshop which is strategically organized to equip them with requisite information in the handbook.
ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) is the main ECOWAS operational tool for promoting the West Africa region as a Free Trade Area. One of the objectives of the community which is the establishment of a common market through “the liberalization of trade by the abolition, among Member States, of customs duties levied on imports and exports, and the abolition among Member States, of non-tariff barriers.