– The Sun News

FG tasks new ECOWAS leadership on security, others

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Government has asked the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take very seriously issues of security in the West African sub-region.

The government also called on the ECOWAS Commission to take very seriously the Economic development of the region and the fight against corruption.

Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, disclosed the outcome of a courtesy visit by the ECOWAS President, Jean Claude Brou, to the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukka Ibrahim, to journalists, in Abuja.

Elias-Fatile said the ECOWAS Commission President, during the visit, further expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for what the nation has been doing in supporting ECOWAS.

Brou, Elias-Fatile added, assured Nigeria of his commitment to achieving the goals and objectives of the commission, especially by raising the standard of living of citizens of the Community through social economic development.

“The Minister of State underscored some particular points at that meeting. First, she underscored the successes recorded in ECOWAS’ Trade Liberation Scheme (ETLS) and the Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services.

“At that meeting, she identified key areas of concern to the present administration which she wants the ECOWAS Commission, especially through the President of the Commission to take very seriously. First is security, economic development and anti-corruption.

“She implored the commission to unite against, and see whatever the commission can do to support countries in the sub-region in their fight against terrorism which has really bedeviled some member states,” Elias-Fatile said.

Elias-Fatile further said that the Minister of State also highlighted the problems of the internally displaced persons in the northeast and urged the ECOWAS Commission President to attend to their resettlement and their welfare.

She further said the development confirmed that Nigeria’s relations with ECOWAS is improving by the day.

Elias-Fatile said Brou had prior to taking over the leadership of the Commission, visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

“At that meeting, the Minister assured him of good working relations and Nigeria’s support to assist him to achieve the objectives of the commission. The Minister also informed him of some particular areas which he would need to attend to in order to make his time eventful and successful.

“And the new president also called for closer ties with the ministry to be able to achieve the goals of the Commission,” Elias-Fatile added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed claims on Human Right Radio on the ill-treatment of Nigerians in Malaysia.

Elias-Fatile who briefed journalists in Abuja, said of particular interest to the ministry is that it appeared that the Nigerian Mission in Malaysia was insensitive to the welfare of Nigerians in Malaysia.

“It is an opportunity to let you know that all Nigerian diplomats have not just been trained, but always conscious of one primary fact, in addition to relating with the government of the host country, the welfare of Nigerians in any country where they are domiciled. We don’t joke with that,” Elias-Fatile said.

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