Pay dues to bolster security efforts, Tinubu urges ECOWAS members

By Kunle Sanni

President Bola Tinubu has called on ECOWAS member nations to expedite their financial contributions to the commission, emphasizing the need for adequate resources to address the region’s security challenges.

Speaking at the 65th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Tinubu highlighted the importance of fulfilling resource provision pledges to stabilize the region.

He urged member states to leverage the Nigeria National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which is recognized as one of the best in West Africa.

Tinubu also addressed the worsening humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, nations that have chosen to exit ECOWAS.

He emphasized the necessity of a secure society for the region to reach its potential and operationalize the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) to combat terrorism.

“A peaceful and secure society is essential for achieving our potential. The success of operationalizing the ECOWAS Standby Force requires not only strong political will but also substantial financial resources,” Tinubu stated.

He stressed the need for member states to meet the expectations and recommendations of their defense and finance ministers to counter insecurity and stabilize the region.

President Tinubu further declared the NCTC as a regional center, encouraging ECOWAS member states to benefit from its capacity-building opportunities. He invited heads of state to visit the center to assess its capabilities firsthand.

Addressing the broader economic challenges, Tinubu called for innovative approaches to unlock the region’s economic potential.

He emphasized the importance of investing in infrastructure, fostering a conducive business environment, and promoting regional trade to stimulate growth and resilience against external shocks.

Tinubu acknowledged the financial difficulties faced by ECOWAS and urged member states to comply fully with the community levy protocol.

“Difficult economic conditions and consistent payment of financial commitments to ECOWAS have contributed to our current plight.

“To ensure adequate resources for ECOWAS programs, all member states must ensure full compliance with the protocol on the community levy,” he said, committing Nigeria to lead by example.

ECOWAS Commission President Omar Touray, during his speech, noted the continued vitality of democracy in the West African subregion, citing recent elections in Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

He expressed optimism for the upcoming election in Ghana, highlighting the region’s commitment to democratic processes despite significant challenges.

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