The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday 4th of November gave the conditions for which other members of the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) can bring their goods through the country’s land borders.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, while speaking during an Inter-Ministerial meeting, held ahead of the Tripartite Anti-Smuggling Committee meeting to be held between Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republics, Nigeria would consider reopening it borders if these conditions are met.
Firstly, there should be no modification to the packaging of goods coming from outside the ECOWAS region and imported into an ECOWAS member-state destined for Nigeria.
“There should be no modification whatsoever to the packaging on those goods imported into an ECOWAS member state destined for Nigeria. So, the original packaging and they must be escorted from the port directly to the entry point, designated entry point on Nigerian borders, so presented to Nigeria Customs, with the packaging intact and those goods escorted. This is an absolute precondition that will not be compromised.”
Secondly, the original packaging should be maintained, and goods must be escorted directly from the port of member-states to the designated entry point on Nigerian borders. It must also be presented to the Nigeria Customs with the packaging intact.
“That it is an absolute requirement of the Government of Nigeria that any imports coming through the land borders, our land borders, when those imports are transit in goods, that is to say when they are coming outside the ECOWAS region and imported into an ECOWAS member state, that those goods should retain their original packaging.”
Thirdly, the exported goods must be goods produced in the most of the ECOWAS member-states in order to prevent dumping of foreign goods in Nigeria.
Mr Onyeama emphasized that Nigeria would be taking compliance with the ECOWAS Rules of Origin of promotion of trade among countries of the sub-region seriously, such that goods coming from outside ECOWAS must show value addition of over 30% to an ECOWAS country.
The minister said a formal meeting would be held where the Memorandum of Understanding would be signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the country’s neighbours.