Infrastructure, especially, transportation, has been identified as a major challenge to proper implementation of regional integration.
Bisi Onasanya, group managing director, First bank of Nigeria plc said this at the just concluded Nigeria Summit 2013 organized by Economist Conferences in Lagos.
Other challenges according to him include immigration and migration at the border post and issues of national interest. “If you want to move from Nigeria to some of those countries, you have to move through Europe, so we need to provide those things. We need to remove the barriers in terms of immigration and migration at the border post. It ought to be free for people to move goods and services. And lastly I think some of the governments tend to look at national interest sometimes over the regional interest”, he said.
Speaking with journalist at the Summit, Onasanya explained that regional integration is an opportunity for all the countries within the sub region to take advantage of the economies of scale, and population to allow free trade of movement of goods and services across the region.
According to him, the advantage in doing this is that it helps unleash the potentials of the economy and allow the economy or any of the sub-sectors of the economy which has tremendous advantage in terms economies of scale to be very efficient in the production of certain items and services to be able to shift them to areas where there is less efficiency in production.
Onasanya said, “It is already happening. We already have businesses moving from one territory to another territory. I mentioned Dangote, I just mention that at First bank we already have businesses in Democratic republic of Congo. So it is already happening,” he said.