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Nigeria spent $1.77bn on ECOWAS in 16 years

The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committees on foreign affairs, interparliamentary relations, and ECOWAS Parliament to appraise the benefits and contributions of ECOWAS towards the socio-economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last ten years. This is even as the lower chamber has revealed that the nation has so far contributed over $1.777 billion to the sub-regional body. The appraisal, according to the House, is to determine the justification of the country’s financial contribution to the sub-regional organisation. The joint committee is to turn in its report within six weeks.

The resolution was consequent upon the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon Awaji-Inombek D Abiante (PDP, Akwa Ibom). In his lead motion, Abiante claimed that in 16 years, Nigeria has contributed more than $1.177 billion to ECOWAS as its community levy. He said this is the highest contributionbyanymemberstate since inception. Abiante expressed worry that “despite Nigeria’s larger- than-life financial contributions to ECOWAS, the country and its citizen have not benefitted immensely, adding: “Nigeria has immensely contributed power supply to member states, medical interventions, and peacekeeping efforts in member states, including The Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, among others.” He believed that there is a need to appraise the benefits and contributions of ECOWAS towards the socio- economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last 10 years.

Abiante, who is a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, noted that ECOWAS’ ‘Vision 2050’, a new regional perspective frame of reference for the next 30 years proclaims that ECOWAS must become a community of people, by placing more emphasis on infrastructural development, integration, youths and women who are the region’s wives. He observed that the ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050 if wellimplemented will ensure a secure, stable and peaceful region; a region endowed with strong institutions that complies with the rule of law and fundamental freedoms; a fully-integrated and prosperous region; a region mobilised for transformation, inclusive and sustainable development.

 

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