The federal government of Nigeria has expended $105 million as community levy on Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) in the last two years.
The outgoing president of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Allen de Souza, disclosed this in a farewell speech at the hand-over ceremony at the main hall of ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja.
de Souza said, “I want to thank Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari for its commitment to ECOWAS cause. In 2016, Nigeria contributed 54 million dollars and, 2017, it contributed 51 million dollars, making a total of 105 million dollars. Nigeria has been so supportive of the commission.
de Souza, who succeeded Kadre Desire Quaraogo of Burkinafo in April, 2015. Handed over to Ivorien Jean-Claude Kassi Brou. At the ceremony, the outgoing President admonished his successor to keep the flame of the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS burning. “As you assumes duty, you must add building blocks to keep the dreams of our founding fathers alive.”
He acknowledged that the commission was been weighed down by the challenge of epileptic funding and the raising insecurity like boko haram. The task before Kassi Brou, according to Souza is onerous. He however said, given the incoming president’s wealth of experience and educational background, he will succeed in his assignment. He urged him to look at what his Administration started but could not finish due to short tenure and take it up from there.
On his part, the incoming president, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou thanked the ECOWAS heads of state for finding him worthy of the appointment.
He praised de Souza and his team for the tremendous achievements they recorded, especially, in the area of West African Single Currency initiative, which he said, received maximum attention under de Souza.
“ECOWAS has recorded huge achievement in the area of democracy and efforts at West African Single Currency initiative under my Predecessor. The success of elections in the Gambia, Ghana, etc is a pointer to this fact. I and my team will continue and consolidate on their achievements.”
Similarly, the Nigerian Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Khadijat Abba Ibrahim, advised the incoming President to be financially prudent.
In a remark, the chair of Committee of ECOWAS Ambassadors and Ambassador of Togo to Nigeria Oluwasegun Ibidapo praised de Souza for working very hard during his tenure to stem disaster and violent extremism. He wished the incoming President a successful tenure.