Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has underscored the importance of regional integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This call was made during the commencement of the 2023 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

Represented by the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, President Tinubu emphasized that regional integration plays a pivotal role in the broader context of Africa. He expressed confidence that the discussions held during the session would have a lasting impact, serving as a source of inspiration for future generations.

Addressing the parliamentarians, President Tinubu acknowledged their role in representing the aspirations and hopes of the people of West Africa, particularly those who have faced significant challenges. He commended the Parliament’s leadership for fostering cross-regional cooperation and integration, highlighting their commitment to upholding democracy and safeguarding the rights of the people.

President Tinubu reflected on the achievements of ECOWAS, citing the connectivity of major cities through highways and the bridging of divides between Francophone and Anglophone countries. Drawing a parallel with the European Economic Community, he noted their success in achieving a single currency, maintaining peace, and abolishing passport control within the Schengen region.

Highlighting the unique challenges faced by African nations, President Tinubu stressed the need for greater cooperation and integration. He urged the ECOWAS community to take charge of its destiny, emphasizing the imperative of working together to address issues such as those in Sudan and to create a united and prosperous West Africa.

Looking to the future, President Tinubu advocated for a path of integration and development, viewing it not as a choice but as an imperative. He called on the ECOWAS community to draw inspiration from the European Union’s example and strive for the advancement of West Africa. The session, in addition to addressing the 2024 Consolidated Community Budget, will focus on evaluating the progress of the ECOWAS Integration and Development Programme.

Quest: Oniovosa Glory

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