President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said Nigeria would continue to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enable it to realise its noble objectives.
The president gave the assurance when he received the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo at the State House, Abuja.
The President said the pursuit of the laudable goals of the regional economic bloc aimed at regional integration and peaceful co-existence that inspired its creation on May 28, 1975, would 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,” he added.
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 said.
The President, who commended Ouedraogo for his diligence and visionary leadership, wished him well in his future engagements.
Ouedraogo recounted some of his achievements over the four-year period of serving to include peace and stability in the region.
He mentioned the resolution of crises in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso and the tackling of the Ebola scourge as some of his major achievements.
‘‘We signed trade agreements with China, U.S and Japan. The biometric identity card has been approved and is due for launch in 2016. 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,” he said.