The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has pledged to improve security in the West African sub-region.
The pledge to strengthen intervention mechanisms to stabilise and address terrorism, cross-border crimes, inter-ethnic clashes, unemployment and migration in the region, was made during the opening ceremony of the First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
The ECOWAS president who noted that the countries of the West African sub-region were bedevilled with several security challenges, assured that the commission would intensify efforts to work closely with the ECOWAS Parliament to reinforce political governance and democracy in the region.
“It is working hand-in-hand and in synergy that that we will achieve the objectives set by our founding fathers. That is, a united and prosperous ECOWAS for that harmonious development of our people.
“In that respect, we will boost the cooperation, consultation and inter-institutional dialogue framework, through the frequent conduct of meetings.
“We will equally give new momentum to the implementation of joint programmes through the technical working committees. The support of the ECOWAS Parliament is invaluable in achieving greater visibility for ECOWAS member states,” Brou said.
Brou, however, stated that the West African sub-region’s economic prospects were encouraging going by the good performance of major macroeconomic indicators.
In his remark, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, noted the landmark achievements recorded in the sub-region.
He said giant strides were made in the integration process and the strengthening of trade amongst ECOWAS member countries.
Brou, however, said the West African sub-region still had much to do, even as he pledged the commitment of the parliament in the fight against barriers to free movement and trade along the borders.
“The founding fathers opted to promote development and cooperation in all socioeconomic aspects and to remove obstacles to free movement of goods, persons and services and harmonise regional policies to substantially improve the welfare of our people.
“It is in this vain that we have sought to distinguish our tenure by fighting against all impediments faced by our people along the corridors of our borders by ensuring all protocols are upheld.
“We invite ECOWAS Commission to veritably consider these chronic problems that have undermined the integration process,” Cisse Lo said.