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Nigeria
April 17, 2024
AgroNigeria
News

ECOWAS Moves to Boost Trade in West Africa’s Palm Oil Industry 

In a bid to resolve disagreements that threaten sub regional trade in palm oil, Nigeria has urged palm oil-producing countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to collaborate more effectively.

This call was made by Ambassador Yakubu Dadu, Head of the ECOWAS National Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a meeting in Abuja on the “free movement of palm oil under the ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme.”

Dadu emphasized the importance of establishing measurable production quotas aligned with each country’s capacity, while also considering their economic circumstances.

He highlighted the challenges within the palm oil sector, despite the success of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) established in 1979. He stressed the need for innovative solutions to ensure sustainable growth.

Mrs. Massandje Toure-Litse, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture at the ECOWAS Commission, identified taxation as a significant challenge in regional palm oil trading.

She stated, “Although the ETLS has eliminated tariffs, disagreements persist in some countries regarding taxation, hindering smooth trade.”

Toure-Litse emphasized the importance of dialogue among member states to resolve these issues and facilitate palm oil trading. Countries like Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia participated in discussions aimed at finding solutions to palm oil trade challenges.

Salifou Tiemtore, Director of Customs, Union, and Taxation at the ECOWAS Commission, acknowledged that member states were not producing enough palm oil to meet the subregion’s demands.

Despite the potential for increased production, Tiemtore highlighted the need for incentives to support entrepreneurs and expand production capacity, leveraging the ETLS to meet regional needs.

The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to analyze import and export data, identify challenges, and propose lasting solutions to promote palm oil sector growth within ECOWAS.

Through collaboration and collective efforts, ECOWAS aims to address trade disputes and ensure the stability and prosperity of the palm oil industry.

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