Nigerian president urges closer collaboration to tackle economic challenges in West Africa

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President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called on executives of banking institutions in West Africa to forge a closer collaboration to tackle economic challenges confronting the sub-region.

Buhari, while receiving a delegation from the West African Bankers Association (WABA), led by its president, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, said that the sub-region must find a common understanding and ground to address low access to financial services and recovery in the post-pandemic era.

The Nigerian leader told the bankers’ association, founded in 1981, and bringing together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, that for many centuries, African countries have “traded with one another without a formalized and structured system.”

He noted, however, that over time, global trade has become more complex and organized.

Buhari expressed confidence that the rollout of the African Continental Free Trade Area would be a turning point in how African countries trade with each other.

“More importantly, we will turn the page in ensuring that we deepen and expand our industrial capabilities by making sure we export less of what we have been endowed with, in primary or raw form, and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials,” he said, adding this will allow African economies to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product. Enditem

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