President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need to review the ECOWAS Treaty in order to make the regional organisation more responsive to new national, regional and global challenges.
The president made the call at the opening of the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority and Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held in Abuja on Saturday.
He also called for the speedy conclusion of the reforms of all ECOWAS institutions to put ECOWAS on a much stronger footing and to prepare member nations for the challenges of such Institutional reforms.
President Buhari also stressed the need to make conscious efforts to improve on governance and accountability at all levels. “We also need to make conscious efforts to improve on Governance and accountability at all levels.
“This calls for the speedy conclusion of the reforms of all ECOWAS institutions to put ECOWAS on a much stronger footing and prepare us for the challenges of such Institutional reforms.
“To this end, we should ensure that priority is given to the implementation of development programmes, while the ECOWAS Parliament should be entrusted with more functions.
“In addition, the cost of governance must be reduced across all ECOWAS Institutions while resources should be devoted to programmes and projects that will have direct bearing on the lives of ordinary citizenry and create jobs fast enough to absorb our teeming youth population.
“In this regard, it is necessary that measures be taken to review the ECOWAS Treaty in order to make ECOWAS responsive to new national, regional and global challenges.”
On economic integration, Buhari observed that the modest achievements in regional integration were being challenged by globalisation. According to him, most member countries continue to record low volume of trade, occasioned by declining level of economic activities, caused by the sharp fall in commodity prices.