ECOWAS leaders push for common tariffs
Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have pushed for an agenda towards the achievement of common tariffs along their boundaries.
The Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS have also agreed to hold an extra-ordinary meeting before the end of the year, to take a firm decision on the proposal.
Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, announced these on Thursday during the daily media briefing at Flagstaff House in Accra.
He said the proposal was geared towards clearing political barriers that had inhibited trade and commerce in the West African sub-region over the years.
President John Dramani Mahama is currently attending the 43rd Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria, where he and his colleagues are deliberating on burning issues pertaining to peace, especially in Mali and Guinea Bissau, among others.
The Deputy Minister said President Mahama advocated the formation of synergies in the energy sector to encourage member countries to speed up industrialization.
Mr Mohammed said West African leaders at the summit also expressed their desire to work hard to restore peace and order in Mali and Guinea Bissau, and to support the two states to return to civil and democratic governance.
The Deputy Minister said the leaders also called for the increment of levies on member states, and the expansion of the number of Commissioners of ECOWAS from seven to 15 so that every member country would have the opportunity to send a representative to the sub-regional body.
“They also agreed to lift sanctions on Mali and Guinea Bissau to help them to speed up the process of democratization,” he stated.