Lagos — The Port Consultative Council, PCC, has called for a review of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, ETLS, saying the restructuring of the scheme by ECOWAS member-countries should be a condition for the reopening of Nigeria’s borders.
Speaking during an interactive session hosted by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, the chairman of the PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin, stated that even if Nigeria did not close its borders, ECOWAS did not have to encounter crisis before control measures would be put in place to manage crisis.
According to Folarin, 600 trailers loaded with goods exits and enters Nigeria to other neighbouring countries everyday just as over $2 million cash also exchanges hands from cross border trading every day as well.
In the session, themed ‘Federal Government Land Border Closure: Freight Forwarders Perspective’, Folarin explained that the closure of the border went beyond the physical closure of the border, adding that there was more to the economic and finance of the border closure.
He said: “From the discussions today, it is very clear that those that are affected by the border closure feel that the issue should be revisited and that the border should be reopened and if it is not opened, there must be some framework to be done so that for future, we shall have no reason to close the border.
“Particularly the issue of Customs administration was mentioned. We have to reformed, we have to restructure all the treaties and protocols.
“Importation and exportation of goods and services must receive a tighter administration. We must not wait until there is crisis before we do damage control.
“Closing the border is damage control and we should avoid that in order to make sure that Nigeria prospers by giving due attention to issues that need attention”