About 90 per cent of cross-border traders in Nigeria are informal traders who neither speak English nor have formalised their export-import trading businesses.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja by the leader of a delegation from the West Africa Association for Cross Border Trade in Agro-Forestry Pastoral and Fisheries Products (WACTAF), Salami Alasoadua.
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Alasoadua led the delegation to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to discuss a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Association and the Ministry on cross border trading of fishes, cattle and other essential agricultural products.
He said most of the businesses are not registered with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) does not have data on their businesses.
To bridge the lacuna, Alasoadua said the organised private sector, led by WACTAF, has been engaging the traders in local languages on the need for them to formalise as well as building a database on the activities of the traders.
The Ministry’s Director of Trade, Aliyu Abubakar, said the two bodies would come up with a MoU, which would address the challenges of cross border trade within ECOWAS.
“Nigeria’s position within ECOWAS is so prominent and domineering. But we know we have to do more to be able to trade with our neighbours across the borders,” he said.