Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is considering the financing of a five-year action plan to combat terrorism in the sub-region.
The topic is one of major at the ongoing 83rd Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Mr Kalla Ankouroa, speaking during the opening session, said the ministers will take a look at the financing of the action plan for counterterrorism.
This, the Niger Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad, said will be considered in line with the decisions of the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS Heads of States and Government.
The minister stated that handling the new threats posed by the state of insecurity in the sub-region, which had been affecting a lot of the member states, called for urgent attention.
“Today, we brainstorm on the state of our community and considered ways of advancing the regional agenda of our region and come up with appropriate responses to the various challenges facing us today.
“In addition to the recurring issues of economic and social development of our people and the issues of enhancing democracy, as you know, we have to deal with new threats affecting our region such as the issues of security due to terrorism, and the effect of climate change on our systems of production and the humanitarian crises.
“That is why I welcome your effective presence of this council to put our heads together constructively and productively in furtherance to the commitments of members and the personal determination of each one of you in this lofty exercise of building regional integration.
“At this 83rd ordinary session, we are going to be considering the financing of the action plan for counter terrorism in line with the decisions of the extraordinary summit.
“It is an important issue for our deliberations which was already considered yesterday in the Mediation and Security Council which adopted the Plan of Action.
“Following the consideration of various items on our agenda, our reports will be submitted to the Heads of States and Governments with appropriate recommendations,” the Nigerien Minister said.
On his part, the Nigerian Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said the end of year statutory ECOWAS Council of Ministers Meeting served as a platform where thematic issues of the community are deliberated upon.
He disclosed that the ECOWAS experts met and deliberated on most of the items in the agenda before the council, especially the 2020 Budget of the Community.
“We therefore have the onerous task of considering the work. It is expected of the honourable delegates to make fruitful contributions to issues raised before the meeting in order to provide for our principals, useful information that will guide their decisions, especially as ECOWAS is moving from ECOWAS of the Community to ECOWAS of the people,” Dada said.
Also speaking, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said the 83rd Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers will remind the community on the urgency of the security issue.
“The important issue of the funding of the five-year action plan to combat terrorism would be touched on which was discussed at the extra ordinary summit that took place on September 14, 2019, in Ouagadougou,” Brou said.