A lot has been said about trade in Africa – that African countries don’t seem to be able to trade with one another.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided to set up a taskforce to find the cause of this – why there isn’t enough trade going on between Nigeria and its neighbour Benin, for instance.

The Taskforce’s finding shows that multiple check-points is one of the impediments to trade integration on the continent.

The Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Mr Justin Bayill said in a statement on Thursday in Lagos that persistence collection of illegal fees at the borders and along the corridors were also some of the findings of the task-force which had impeded trade integration at the border.

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He also identified civilians managing check points/roadblocks, ransoming truck drivers, cars and extortion at the border as other hindrances to trade.

“The taskforce will work through the ECOWAS Heads of States to bring to a stop the human excesses that have been thwarting trade conventions in the sub-region.

“Notably at Malanville, Hillacondji, Krake Benin axis and at the Seme Nigeria side, the unwholesome trend has continued unabated with its dire consequences on the regional economy.

“There are bilateral agreements supporting such social interactions, but it is very disturbing that unprogressive elements have constituted themselves as clog in the wheel of economic advancement of the area, Bayill said.

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