President Muhammadu Buhari has called on executives of banking institutions in West Africa to establish a closer collaboration to tackle economic challenges confronting the sub-region.
Buhari made the call when he hosted a delegation from the West African Bankers Association (WABA), led by its President, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He stressed that West Africa must find a common understanding to address low access to financial services and recovery from post-COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the association, founded in 1981, brings together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, and that for many centuries, African countries have traded with one another without a formalised and structured system.
The president expressed believe that the rollout of the African Continental Free Trade Area would be a turning-point in how African countries trade with one 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.
“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product,” he said.