The Badagry Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (BACCIMA), in collaboration with the Universal Research & Training Institute (URTI) as consultants and with technical support from the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI), has initiated a transformative project aimed at enhancing small-scale informal cross-border trade. This initiative, known as the Small-Scale Informal Cross Border Trade (SSICBT) project, is designed to support and formalize the activities of traders who operate within the Badagry-Seme border region, a vital commercial corridor between Nigeria and Benin Republic. Here’s an in-depth look at the project and its anticipated impacts.


Background and Objectives

Informal cross-border trade plays a significant role in the economies of many African nations, including Nigeria. Despite its importance, this sector often operates without formal recognition or support, leading to numerous challenges such as:

- Lack of access to credit and financing

- Inadequate infrastructure and facilities

- High transaction costs and tariffs

- Exposure to corruption and exploitation


The SSICBT project, with guidance from URTI and technical support from FEWACCI, aims to address these issues by:

1. Formalizing Trade Activities: Registering informal traders and providing them with necessary documentation to operate legally and efficiently.

2. Capacity Building: Offering training programs on business management, financial literacy, and trade regulations.

3. Infrastructure Development: Improving market facilities, storage units, and transportation networks.

4. Access to Finance: Creating microfinance schemes and partnerships with financial institutions to provide credit facilities.

5. Policy Advocacy: Working with government agencies to streamline trade policies and reduce bureaucratic hurdles.


Key Components of the SSICBT Project

1. Trader Registration and Documentation:

   - Establishing a comprehensive database of traders operating in the Badagry-Seme corridor.

   - Issuing identification cards and trade licenses.


2. Training and Capacity Building:

   - Organizing workshops and seminars on entrepreneurship, trade regulations, and financial management.

   - Providing resources for improving product quality and packaging.


3. Infrastructure Improvement:

   - Upgrading border markets and creating designated trade zones.

   - Enhancing transportation infrastructure to facilitate easier movement of goods.


4. Financial Inclusion:

   - Developing microfinance initiatives tailored for small-scale traders.

   - Partnering with banks and fintech companies to offer affordable financial products.


5. Policy and Advocacy:

   - Engaging with local, national, and regional authorities to advocate for supportive trade policies.

   - Facilitating dialogue between traders and policymakers to address challenges and opportunities.


The Role of Universal Research & Training Institute (URTI)

As consultants for the SSICBT project, URTI brings a wealth of expertise in research, training, and development. Their role includes:

- Conducting Baseline Studies: Assessing the current state of informal trade and identifying key areas for intervention.

- Developing Training Modules: Creating tailored training programs that address the specific needs of small-scale traders.

- Monitoring and Evaluation: Establishing metrics and tools to monitor the progress of the project and measure its impact.

- Stakeholder Engagement: Facilitating communication and collaboration between traders, government agencies, and financial institutions.


The Role of FEWACCI

FEWACCI provides technical and Institutional support to the SSICBT project, leveraging its extensive network and experience in promoting regional trade and economic integration. Their contributions include:

- Technical Expertise: Offering insights and best practices from similar initiatives across West Africa.

- Networking Opportunities: Facilitating connections between traders, policymakers, and regional trade organizations.

- Advocacy: Supporting policy reforms and initiatives that enhance cross-border trade efficiency.

- Resource Mobilization: Assisting in the acquisition of funding and resources from regional and international partners.


Anticipated Impacts

The implementation of the SSICBT project is expected to bring about significant positive changes for the Badagry region and beyond. Some of the key impacts include:

1. Economic Growth:

   - Increased formalization of trade activities will boost local economies by increasing tax revenues and promoting transparency.

   - Enhanced access to finance and infrastructure will enable traders to expand their businesses and create jobs.


2. Empowerment of Traders:

   - Training and capacity-building initiatives will empower traders with the knowledge and skills to improve their business operations.

   - Access to formal financial services will enable traders to invest in their businesses and improve their livelihoods.


3. Improved Trade Efficiency:

   - Better infrastructure and streamlined policies will reduce transaction costs and transit times, making cross-border trade more efficient.

   - Formalization will reduce corruption and exploitation at border points, ensuring fairer trade practices.


4. Regional Integration:

   - Strengthening cross-border trade ties between Nigeria and Benin Republic will foster regional economic integration and cooperation.

   - The success of the SSICBT project could serve as a model for other border regions in West Africa, promoting wider economic collaboration.


5. Social Development:

   - The project will contribute to the social development of the Badagry region by improving the standard of living for traders and their families.

   - It will also support the inclusion of women and youth in economic activities, promoting gender equality and youth empowerment.



The SSICBT project by the Badagry Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, with the Universal Research & Training Institute as consultants and technical and Institutional support from FEWACCI, represents a bold step towards transforming the informal cross-border trade sector. By addressing the challenges faced by small-scale traders and providing them with the tools and support they need to thrive, the project promises to unlock significant economic and social benefits for the Badagry region and beyond. As the project unfolds, it will not only enhance the livelihoods of countless traders but also contribute to the broader goal of regional economic integration and sustainable development.

  • Client
  • Budget
  • Duration
    5 Years

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