SKYE BANK'S BOSS ADVOCATES IMPROVED PAYMENT SYSTEM IN ECOWAS
BY MICHAEL EBOH & EDIRI EJOH
Managing Director, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, has called for the creation of a reliable and improved payment system among member states of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.
Speaking on a paper, titled, 'ECOWAS Common External Tariff: Potential Implication for the Manufacturing Sector,' presented at the public lecture/Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Ikeja Chapter, said that the removal of barriers to payment and obstacles to external tariffs will help promote trade and ensure a robust financial system in the continent.
He further called for an effective and improved transportation system within the sub region to aid movement of goods and people as well as improving connectivity, adding that if obstacles in the way of common external tariffs were removed, it would provide an enabling environment to widen the scope of business from the economies of scale in addition to opening access to a large market of over 234 million people.
According to him, the establishment of a common market and the adoption of a common external tariff by ECOWAS member states would promote a viable regional capital market.
Durosinmi-Etti said a viable capital market will attract investment capital from other markets, with inflows from such markets contributing towards financing projects that will help industrialise the region.
He explained that a uniform tariff would ensure transparency in customs formalities, adding that such development will also improve the investment climate and competitiveness of the private sector within the sub region.
Besides, he said the establishment of a common market and the adoption of a common external tariff by ECOWAS states would curb smuggling, thereby, increasing customs revenue.
He contended that if national policies were set within the framework of the regional body, there would be greater synergy in trade, fiscal and monetary policies among ECOWAS states.
The bank chief, however, said for the benefits of economic integration and common external tariffs to be enjoyed in the sub region, the challenge of inadequate infrastructure must be tackled.
Specifically, he said poor haulage, irregular power supply and weak regulatory framework presently increase the cost of doing business, making it difficult to comply with ECOWAS common external tariff.
He therefore called for the removal of barriers to trade in the sub region which constrain trade flow and undermine competitiveness.
He further said the manufacturing sector in the sub region would have access to a wealth of untapped mineral resources just as a uniform tariff would promote a conducive atmosphere for investment and private sector participation.