Construction of a Joint Border Post between Liberia and Sierra Leone would facilitate cross-border trade and the free movement of persons and goods along the Monrovia-Freetown Corridor, a Technical Committee of the regional bloc ECOWAS has said.
The ECOWAS Bilateral Joint Border Technical Committee demolished over 130 structures including houses in the Bo Water Side area to pave way for the construction of a modern border post that would link Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Border points experienced blockade sometimes for weeks due to cumbersome bureaucracies and manual control measures coupled with separate independent national systems.
The JBP will facilitate the effective implementation of regional policies, backed up by strong regional institution and the birth of adequate regional infrastructure, Benedict Robert said in a statement Wednesday.
“The Joint border post serves as mitigating mechanism for seamless checks, which supports ECOWAS protocol of Free Movement of persons, good, services in the region
“The JBP have the advantage of serving as a platform for the implementation of measure aimed at simplifying customs procedures while increasing cooperation and coordination of border controls and the fight against harassment, extortion and bad trade practices along the corridor
The World Bank estimates that inefficient border control in the region has contributed to revenue leakages of more than 15% of the value of imported goods.
Sierra Leone exports to Liberia was US$2.31 Million during 2018, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
The total trade of the region has averaged $208.1 billion. Exports are projected at approximately $137.3 billion while imports total about $80.4 billion.
The main active countries in trade are Nigeria, which alone accounts for approximately 76 percent of total trade followed by Ghana (9.2 percent) and Côte d’Ivoire (8.64 percent).
The trade surplus of the region, estimated at about $47.3 billion is attributable to Nigeria ($58.4 billion) and Côte d’Ivoire ($3.4 billion) when all other Countries have a deficit in the trade balance.