The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Council of Ministers, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar has urged members to carefully review the community’s activities and proffer constructive recommendations aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people.
Tuggar, who is also Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, advised the 91st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in Abuja on Thursday.
“it is incumbent upon us to approach our deliberations meticulously, mindful of our collective responsibility toward fostering sustainable economic integration and development in our sub-region.
“Our agenda today reflects the commitment of our sub-regional organisation toward fulfilling our integration and developmental goals”, he said.
The Chairman urged the commission to be mindful of the prevailing economic and financial challenges such as inflation, high food prices, and currency devaluation that are confronting the sub-region and adversely affecting the economies of member States.
He noted the devaluation of major currencies, particularly the Ghanaian Cedi and the Nigerian Naira against the U.S. dollar has impacted the gross domestic product, revenue generation, and in particular mobilisation of the community’s levies.
“We must support the recommendations of the Administration and Finance Committee on enhancing prudence.
“We will also support the efforts of the President of the Commission and other Heads of the Institutions on blocking leakages to ensure judicious use of our meagre resources”, he added.
Tuggar applauded the ECOWAS Institutions for their doggedness towards fulfilling the mandate of its community, despite the prevailing difficulties in the West African region.
He said the dedication of the ECOWAS Commission and other Community Institutions was evident in the implementation of numerous programmes which include:
Addressing impediments to free trade along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor through the High-level Ministerial meeting in Cotonou.
Implementation of the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card system, and the ECOWAS Cross Border Cooperation Support Programme.
He said: “Without doubt, these programmes would accelerate the attainment of the ECOWAS Vision 2050 and the overall target of regional integration in the sub-region”.