Senate wants government to suspend ECOWAS’ trade scheme
The Senate, on Tuesday, urged the Federal government to suspend forthwith the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) trade liberalisation scheme and Common External Tariffs (CET).
Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodinma, titled, “The Abuse of Customs Tariff and Indiscriminate Issuance of Fiscal Policies and the negative impact on the national economy”, the upper chamber urged government to review the process of enacting the tariff to identify all abuses and revenue leakages.
He noted that the fall out of the formation of ECOWAS was the ratification of CET and ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) in year 2000.
According to him, ECOWAS integration package in the place should not have been signed, as “Nigeria was not and is still not in the same economic level with other West African countries.
He said that Nigeria had made a huge industrial advancement and was ready for a giant leap into the league of developed countries.
“These protocols on Economic integration of the West African sub region were predicated on free movement of goods and services as well as strategic economic convergence criteria of member nations,” he said.
He said the country’s economy, especially the manufacturing sector was worsened by the protocols, which further drove the real sector into doldrums and consequently forced most manufacturing firms to neighbouring countries.
Uzodinma said the ratification of the two protocols were not done in accordance with section 12 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.