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

The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its committees on Inter-parliamentary Relations and Ecowas Parliament as well as Foreign Affairs to determine the justification for Nigeria’s huge financial contribution to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which amounted to $1.177billion in 16 years.

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.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Awaji-inombek Abiante from Rivers State at plenary.

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 in order to raise living standards and promote economic development.

He said the regional political and economic union of fifteen countries called ECOWAS has 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 has contributed more than $1.177billion to ECOWAS as its community levy, and this is the highest contribution by any member state since inception.

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He said the House is: “Also aware that Nigeria has immensely contributed to the ECOWAS- power supply to member states, medical interventions and peacekeeping efforts in member states including the Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Liberia among others.

“Further aware that ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050’, a new regional prospective frame of reference for the next thirty 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 vives.

“Observes that 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 mobilized for transformation, inclusive and sustainable development.

“Worried that despite Nigeria’s larger than life financial contributions to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Country and its citizens have not benefited immensely.

“Believes 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 ten years.”

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