Abuja, 7th November, 2018.The Vice President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Madam Finda Koroma urged a delegation from the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANT) to have confidence in the Commission to handle disputes among Member States and Community citizens in line with ECOWAS protocols and utmost neutrality.
Madam Koroma made this statement on 7th November 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria while receiving the President of the NANT, Ken Ukaoha, who led a delegation to thank and show appreciation to the Commission for the role it played in the re-opening of over four hundred shops and businesses belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.
Mr. Ukaoha expressed his delight with the fact that after the association made its grievances known to the Commission, its Management moved swiftly to ensure that the shops and businesses were re-opened as a result of a meeting between the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly which was held in September 2018.
He further stated that this is a testament to the fact that the ECOWAS mandate of economic integration is being achieved. According to Mr. Ukaoha, “despite the pencil which was used to draw maps in the ECOWAS region, this has shown that we are indeed one people”.
The Vice President advised that the NANT or any party having such regional disputes should always seek dialogue and consultations with the Commission in order to address and find lasting solutions to the issues at hand.
Echoing the Vice President, the Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement of ECOWAS, Tei Konzi stated that indeed consultation is the channel in which ECOWAS Heads of States and Government resolve disputes within the region.
Commissioner Konzi charged the NANT to sensitize Nigerians on the effectiveness of the Commission and its protocol on free movement, residence and establishment as it has just experienced it firsthand.
He further stated that “the NANT should also serve as ambassadors of ECOWAS and urge Nigerians to support the signing of the European Union-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement and the Continental Free Trade Agreement”.
Also attending the courtesy visit were the Commissioner of General Administration and Conference, Mr. Vafolay Tulay and the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Halima Ahmed who highlighted that resolving the dispute between the Ghanaian government and Nigerian traders in Ghana attests to the commitment of the Management of the Commission to promote economic integration and the free movement of people, goods and services.