Reps seek justifications for Nigeria’s $1.177bn contribution to ECOWAS

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The House of Representatives has demanded justification for Nigeria’s huge financial contribution to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which amounted to 1.177billion dollars in 16 years.

The House mandated its committees on Inter-parliamentary Relations and ECOWAS Parliament as well as Foreign Affairs to determine the justification.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Rep. Awaji-inombek Abiante (PDP-Rivers) at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The committees are also to appraise the benefits and contributions of ECOWAS towards the Socio-economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last 10 years.

Moving the motion, Abiante noted that ECOWAS was established by the Treaty of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria on May 28, 1975 with the main goal of promoting economic cooperation among member states.

This according to him was in order to raise living standards and promote economic development.

He said the regional political and economic union of 15 countries called ECOWAS had its headquarters in Abuja, and its arms of governance include, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary

The lawmaker stated that in 16 years, Nigeria had contributed more than 1.177billion dollars to ECOWAS as its community levy, and this is the highest contribution by any member state since inception.

He said that Nigeria has immensely contributed to the ECOWAS- power supply to member states, medical interventions and peacekeeping efforts in member states.

This according to him include: the Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Liberia among others.

He noted that ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050’, a new regional prospective frame of reference for the next 30 years proclaimed that ECOWAS must become a community of people.

This he said was by placing more emphasis on Infrastructural development, integration, youths and women who were in the region.

According to him, the ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050 if well implemented 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,” he said

He expressed worried that despite Nigeria’s larger than life financial contributions to ECOWAS, the country and its citizen had not benefitted immensely.

He stated that there was a need to appraise the benefits and contributions of ECOWAS towards the Socio-economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last 10 years.(NAN)

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