ECOWAS to start sea trade company for movement of goods

West Africa regional group, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will soon get a sea trade firm that would be responsible for the movement of goods between member states and promote economic integration.

To fund the project, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), which is the facilitator, is seeking a $200 million-loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the project.

Speaking to Nigerian publication, The NEXT, during the recently-held World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town, South Africa, NEXIM Managing Director Mr. Roberts Orya said “Under that kind of scenario, deepening trade would be impossible…therefore, we are looking at the prospects of attracting a line of credit of about $200 million from the AfDB to set up an ECOWAS company that would serve as a vehicle that would acquire and own cargo vessels that would handle the transportation of goods across the region.”

Lamenting some challenges in transporting goods in the sub region Mr. Orya told the publication that movement of goods from one ECOWAS member state to another is a major challenge, as it takes a minimum of 60 days for a businessman to move his goods from Nigeria to any port in Ghana.

But the project seems to get a green light as the Mr Orya says the bank has worked out the details of the possible lines of credit in its discussions with the AfDB President, who has pledged the bank’s support for the initiative to help boost regional economic integration.

Several other South African entrepreneurs are also interested to partner with us to set up that company and have it listed in the various Stock Exchanges within the ECOWAS sub-region, he told the NEXT.

By Ekow Quandzie

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