The Federal Government Nigeria has disclosed plans to make Lome, Togo a trade hub for Nigerian manufactured products in the West African sub-region.This was following a hugely successful Solo-Exhibition of Made -Nigeria Manufactured Products in Lome , Togo organised by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) which had a total of 67 Nigerian manufacturing companies participating.
Acting Managing Director of the agency, Mr. Aliyu Lawal , who made this known at a post- exhibition conference yesterday in Abuja, said that before the exhibition, Nigeria's export to Togo in 2012, was in the region of $40,579 million making the franco-phone country the third largest importer of Nigerian non-oil export within the region.
Lawal also said that in the course of the hugely successful exhibition, non- implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme that guarantees free movement of goods and services and inadequate logistics for transportation of goods from Lagos to Lome were identified as serious impediments to fostering business relations with Togo and ensuring that Nigerian products penetrate the market
According to him, given that there was a lot of informal trade between both countries, part of the objective of the exhibition was to formalise the structure of trade between both countries with a view to reducing the activities of smugglers along border posts.
" For Nigeria to reap the benefits of the exhibition and maximise the opportunities in the Togo market, there is the need to make our products competitive in the international market by ensuring that issues like poor infrastructure , high lending ratesfrom banks or inadequate credit facilities among others are effectively addressed if we are to transform the economy and catapult Nigeria to the league of 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020... we have to ensure that companies who have secured orders , execute them in good time," he advised.