By our Reporter
A 2-day meeting of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers Eighty-Ninth Ordinary Session is holding at the ECOWAS Commission, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria from 1st to 2nd December 2022. At the 2-day meeting deliberations will be cover memoranda on combating terrorism, unconstitutional changes of government, humanitarian situation in the region, transition processes in the Region, and ECOWAS Peace Support Operations in the Gambia and Guinea Bissau, among others and Update on the Status of the Implementation of the National Early Warning Centres.
The President of ECOWAS Commission, H.E Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, in his statement at the opening ceremony, stated that the new management assumed duty with an urgent task to align the new structures and improve the processes and procedures of the ECOWAS Commission towards ensuring that the programmes and projects of the commission impact substantially on the lives and livelihood of the community citizens. He added that while the work of restoring constitutionalism in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea continues, steps are being taken to halt the reversal of democracy in the region through instituting stronger regime against anti-corruption practices.
Touray reiterated the “4×4 Objectives” of the new management, which are to enhanced Peace and Security, Deepen Regional Integration, Good Governance and, Inclusive and Sustainable Development which has two enablers: Capable Institutions and Equitable Partnerships. He said that the new Management of the Commission is committed to the new Financial Regulations by adopting the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for its budgeting purposes.
And the Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinéa Bissau, H.E Suzi Carla Barbosa, praised her predecessor, H.E Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for her leadership and achievements during her tenure and congratulated the new management of the ECOWAS Commission led by H. E Dr. Alieu Omar Touray. She noted the present economic situations across the world particularly the post-pandemic effects of COVID-19 and the inflations of because of the Ukraine-Russia war, which is making life difficult for citizens including those of the ECOWAS Community. She added that the challenges facing the sub-region occasioned by human insecurity, violent attacks, coups d’état and uncertain transitions that are threatening the values of democracy and good governance.
Barbosa commended the management of the ECOWAS Commission for committing to the implementation of the reforms aimed at making the commission responsive to the needs of the ECOWAS citizens and promised the support of the council of ministers towards the success of the “4×4 objectives”. She wished council members fruitful deliberation.
In his response, H.E Ambassador Zubairu Dada, the Honourable Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, welcomed council members to Nigeria on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari. He encouraged all to debate and discuss on the various issues on the agenda in the best interests of the citizens of the sub-region. He expressed optimism on the level of commitment and industriousness of the new management of the ECOWAS Commission towards achieving the “ECOWAS of the People” goal.
Interestingly, other major highlights of the opening ceremony include the swearing-in of the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E Mrs. Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja, Commissioners, Auditor Genral of ECOWAS Institutions, the Directors General of WAHO and GIABA and the President of ERERA.