Takoradi, May 6, GNA – Mr Ebrima Njie, Commissioner of Infrastructure at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the construction of the Elubo-Noe Joint Border Post (JBP) was key to enhancing effective trade in West Africa.
He said ECOWAS continued to implement programmes and projects aimed at enhancing intra-community trade and free movement of people and that the construction of the JBP was a key component of the Regional Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme.
He said Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire remained the most vibrant members in terms of trade and economic development and by the construction of the JBP; ‘we seek to enhance greater integration and freer movement on the entire Abidjan-Lagos Corridor’.
Mr Njie was speaking at a high level introductory meeting for the construction and operationalisation of the Elubo-Noe JBP in Takoradi on Wednesday.
The meeting brought together commissioners from ECOWAS, and delegates from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to discuss issues pertaining to selection of site, transfer, ownership, compensation and resettlement, and project management among other things.
Mr Njie said the Commission, in consultation with key member states, embarked on a project in 2008 to restructure land borders in line with continental best practices of providing a one-stop shop for cross-border traders and transporters.
He said funds had already been made available for the project.
Mr Inusah Fuseini, the Minister for Roads and Highways, entreated the heads of coordinating ministries to provide the needed leadership to ensure that the objectives for the improvement of trade and reduction in transport costs were achieved.
He said another area that needed attention and investment was trade and transit facilitation, corridor management and the harmonisation of customs procedures to reap the full benefits of integration and improved trade as indicated in the ECOWAS Treaty.
He said Ghana was privileged to be part of the project and called for the political will in improving the economic advantage for the citizens of the ECOWAS community.
The Joint Border Post, when completed, would reduce border crossing time by three hours, halve the freight, buses and passenger processing times and enable the possibility of pre-clearance through information and equipment sharing.
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