President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja said Nigeria will continue to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to realize the noble objectives of regional integration and peaceful co-existence that inspired its creation in May 28, 1975.
Receiving the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, at the State House, the President said the pursuit of the laudable goals of the regional economic bloc will always remain a top priority for Nigeria.
‘‘Nigeria, by its size and resources, has no alternative than to back ECOWAS to the hilt. We are part of ECOWAS. Indeed, we are at the very heart of it, so we will continue to play our role,’’ the President said.
President Buhari said the gains recorded so far in collectively providing peace in the sub-region and curtailing health challenges were major achievements of ECOWAS that must be sustained.
‘‘Now we have to get more reliable intelligence and support from the international community, and utilize the gains for the development of our countries,” he added.
The President commended the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission for his diligence and visionary leadership, while wishing him the best in his future engagements.
In his remark, the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission recounted some of his achievements over the four-year period of serving to include peace and stability in the region, resolution of crises in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso and the tackling of the Ebola scourge.
‘‘We signed trade agreements with China, U.S and Japan. The biometric identity card has been approved, and is due for launch this year, while a single currency by 2020 is on course. On behalf of all ECOWAS institutions, I express my sincere thanks to Nigeria for all her support,’’ Ouedraogo said.