By Ibukun Emiola
Experts on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take his anti-corruption effort across the African continent to sensitise the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the evil effects of corruption on societies.
An economist, Prof. Olanrewaju Olaniyan, the Director, Centre for Sustainable Development University of Ibadan and Mr David Olojede, a council member of Ibadan Chamber of Commerce and Industry made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
Olaniyan however said among the things on the front burner for President Buhari to tackle in ECOWAS are the issues of corruption and accountability at the ECOWAS secretariat and also in individual countries that made up ECOWAS.
“Another thing that he should tackle is that of free movement of persons especially as it concerns the movement of herdsmen and their cattle; so as to check the insecurity challenge in Nigeria; though, there is a protocol in ECOWAS that allows herdsmen to move from Senegal across Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana to Nigeria.”
The director also enjoined President Buhari to look into the issue of single currency by energising the West African Central Bank and ensure it come to fruition as it has been long overdue.
Olojede in his contribution urged the president to ensure Common Economic Tariff and also consolidate on economic integration, adding that it will boost income of member States if fully implemented.
“The common economic tariff is 20 per cent then we added the adjusted economic tariff which is 50 per cent meaning there is 70 per cent tariff on any goods in Nigeria.
“This implies the goods will be expensive in Nigeria and it will encourage smuggling, as people don’t want to pay 70 per cent tariff on goods in Nigeria.”
They however, urged President Buhari to improve on Nigeria’s infrastructure and provide required leadership in ECOWAS so that members clamouring for Morocco to join the community can believe in Nigeria.
NAN reports that President Buhari was on July 31 in Lome elected the new chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS.
The president’s election was one of the highpoints of the 53rd Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS which held in the Togolese capital.