The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, has said the over 400 checkpoints along the Seme-Krake border are affecting trade among countries in the West African region.
He stated this during a sensitisation workshop organised by the NSC, the ECOWAS Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (ECOWAS-USAID) in Lagos at the weekend.
He noted that the barriers not only disrupt the seamless flow of goods but also pose a direct threat to regional integration.
He called on professional groups, businesses, and individuals to embrace the ongoing trade facilitation initiatives in West Africa by using the ECOWAS Trade Obstacles Alert Mechanism (TOAM) to eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) across the sub-region.
Justifying the initiative, the Principal Trade Advisor, ECOWAP-USAID Operational Programme, ECOWAS Commission, Mr Justin Bayili, stressed the need to create a conducive environment for trade facilitation in the region.
The President of the Ikom Chamber of Commerce, Mrs Flora Takim-Ndifon, said TOAM's greatest strength is the knowledge that one could do business legitimately without any fear of hindrance from anybody.