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West Africa nations need to collaborate to tackle economic challenges, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that West African countries need to forge a closer collaboration to tackle economic challenges confronting the sub-region.

This was stated on Tuesday by Buhari while receiving delegates from the West African Bankers Association (WABA) in Abuja.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesperson, issued a statement to that effect.

The president said African countries have traded with one another without a formalised and structured system for many centuries.

”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 within the primary or raw form and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials,” Buhari said.

“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product.

”Our ability to overcome the current phase of our development lies in our resolve to work jointly via our regional and sub-regional organisations where we can all reach a common understanding to fight against a common enemy.

”This is one of the reasons I am delighted with the strides ECOWAS has been making towards unanimity and forging alliances with a goal to resolve issues that confront the sub-region.

”I believe that this is also the approach that is being followed in the West African Bankers’ Association and the West African Monetary Union.”

On his part, Thierno Nourou Sy, WABA president, said the association would work towards finding a common ground to synchronise monetary and fiscal policies despite the unique macro-economic challenges that each member-state faces.

”That’s why we are here for counsel and guidance for the financial sector in West Africa,” Nourou Sy said.

He urged Buhari to be an advocate for greater inclusion of the association in the ECOWAS structure, adding that Nigeria needs to set up a training academy for the industry.

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