By Linda Ike
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu has called for ECOWAS member states cooperation and integration to achieve and accomplish greater development for the region.
Tinubu made the call at the opening of the 2023 Second Ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament in Abuja, on Wednesday.
President Tinubu who was represented by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Jubril Barau urged the region to take charge of their own destiny by collaborating in the pursuit of integration and development.
He tasked the African nations to emulate the European Union that has emerged a powerful entity and strive for the advancement of West Africa in all sphere.
He said, “While the European Economic Community with similar goals now rest in history, the European Union has emerged as a powerful entity The EU has achieved a single currency for its member states maintained peace abolished passport control within the Schengen region and successfully combined the characteristics of a federation and confederation.
“African nations, with their unique challenges require even greater cooperation and integration. It is clear that the world ‘s not prortising the resolution of Africa’s problems. The atrocities in Sudan go unnoticed while other regions receive immediate attention
“We must take charge of our own destiny, working together, collaborating and integrating.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Parliament, Hon. Sidie Tunis, charged member states to be more self-reliant and accept more responsibility for the development and advancement of the sub-region.
He also spoke on the changing order of the world in the past decade.
‘Tunis stated, “The reality is the world has changed a great deal over the past decade. Across the globe, governments and nations are turning inward, in search of resolutions to their challenges.
‘For a region like ours, this means that we need to be more self-reliant. Each Member State must take on more responsibility for the development and advancement of the ECOWAS region.”
He called for the establishment enabling policies and regulations at the National level to encourage incentives to make the region an appealing destination.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area is a significant step in this direction, as it seeks to improve economic activities within the continent and promotes intra-African trade.
“In the area of democracy and the rule of law, we must accept the reality that the existence of strong democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the rule of law ultimately determines security and development.
“Our democracy can only thrive if we hold each other accountable for our
actions. As a result, we must seek out and cherish what unites us as a region and people,” he said..
Tunis while addressing the agenda of the session, including the issues of peace and security said regional solidarity is required in the approach of the Parliament.
“I’d like to emphasize the fundamental reality that regional solidarity is required in our approach. No country in our region can be stable without solidarity.
‘Our region’s prosperity and safety are inextricably linked to our shared responsibility to look out for one
“In a region of interconnected threats and challenges,we can only address our issues effectively through broad, deep, and sustained cooperation among States.
“Such cooperation is possible
if all countries develop policies that consider not only the needs of their own citizens, but also the needs of others.
“This type of collaboration not only benefits everyone’s interests, but also recognizes a shared humanity”, he maintained.