Economic challenges hit real growth of ECOWAS

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President Buhari at the ordinary session of ECOWAS leaders in Abuja

Economic recession has hit Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), gradually causing a dip in its real growth rate.

The growth has dipped to all time low of 0.2 per cent in 2016.

The rate started the nose dive in 2014 due to economic challenges facing the bloc.

The growth decreased from 6.1 per cent in 2014 to 3.3 per cent in 2015.

The situation was compelling that member state ensure that resources were put to good economic use to boost peoples’ quality of lives, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday night.

Buhari called ECOWAS member states to urgently review their spending patterns for optimisation of strategic goals of the Community.

He made the call at the 52nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Abuja.

“I urge the Commission leadership to practice probity and accountability in the management of our resources.”

He stressed the need to consolidate the efforts made so far on reform of ECOWAS Institutions and Specialized Agencies.

The Nigerian leader also emphasised the importance of good governance, sound financial management and cost reduction as underlying factors for successful reform.

“In this regard, Nigeria welcomes the approved institutional reforms of our organisation, and we are looking forward to their comprehensive implementation.

“The gains and savings made should be invested in greater integration projects, as well as on security and development initiatives.”

President Buhari had on Dec. 15 commended the leadership of ECOWAS Commission for demanding accountability from its headquarters staff.

Buhari gave the commendation when he received the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Marcel A. de Souza, and described the commission’s invitation of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into its books as a welcome development.

The President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Marcel A. de Souza, said the sub-region was facing complex and recurring crises that endangered the lives of the people and sometimes the existence of member states.

According to him, the fight against terrorism and the management of internal political crises often take precedence over economic and social development issues.

He noted that “indiscriminate terrorist attacks continue to plague our hard-working populations in northern Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire’’.


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