Ogun Govt Partners ECOWAS Commission On Economic Zone

Ogun Govt Partners ECOWAS Commission, UNIDO On Economic Zone
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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in conjunction with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is set to establish an agro processing cluster and special economic zone in Ogun State.

The Head of Division, Private Sector Department of UNIDO, Dr. Enobong Umoessien, who disclosed this, said the project would improve economic ties among West African states.

He made this known on Wednesday when he led a delegation on a courtesy call on the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, at his office in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Dr. Umoessien hinted that the economic zone would be sited between the borders of Ogun State and the Benin Republic, adding that it would be the first ECOWAS “Smart City” to serve as a hub for business relations within the West African region.

He said, “The project would integrate agricultural processing, light industry, create jobs and encourage women and youth involvement in the development process as well as control migration.”

The UNIDO official, who revealed that the government of Benin Republic had already passed a law endorsing the designated site of the zone between the country and Ogun State, explained that the visit was to encourage the Nigerian government to play its part in order to facilitate the project.

He added that the ECOWAS Commission was already creating a mega highway from Lagos to Cote d’Ivoire and Dakar, to ease distribution and marketing of goods within the West African region.

In his response, Governor Amosun said that his administration was fully ready to collaborate with the agency on the proposed project, saying three locations in the state would be made available out of which the agency could choose from.

He acknowledged that establishing an agro processing and logistic hub within the region would be in the interest of the member countries towards enhancing trade relations among them.

According to the governor, some of the proposed locations offered by the state government for the economic zone include Seme border area, Ihunbo – Ilase belt as well as Ipokia belt.

200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From Gambia

200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From GambiaTwo hundred of the Nigerian Air Force personnel sent for peace keeping in Banjul, The Gambia, are back home, after what they called a successful campaign in the country.

The officers and men who arrived at about 6:30 on Thursday evening, were brought in an Air Force plane.

The troops were part of the ECOWAS military force sent to restore democracy in The Gambia.

Former President Yayah Jameh had refused to step down after losing an election to current President Adama Barrow.

The officers and airmen were received by Air Vice Marshal, James Gbum at the Air Force wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

ECOWAS decided to engage its military after the mediating team led by Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, could not convince President Jammeh to relinquish power to then president-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow.

Mr Jammeh had earlier said he would accept the result of the election but changed his mind few days later, insisting that another election should be held.

Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.

The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.

The mission was accomplished when Mr Adama Barrow was successfully sworn-in as President in neighbouring Senegal with Jammeh left with no other option than to leave few days after.

This paved the way for the return of Barrow as President, but the ECOWAS troops had to remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS said that it was retaining troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In Gambia

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In GambiaThe President of the ECOWAS commission, Marcel Alain De Souza says ECOWAS troops deployed for mission in The Gambia would remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

Briefing members of the diplomatic corps and commissioners from member countries, the President said that it has retained troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

The ECOWAS president appealed for financial support from international partners to conclude its mission successfully in The Gambia.

Responding to the allegation that the former president, Mr Yahaya Jameh took away 11.4 million dollar from the country’s treasury, ECOWAS promised to encourage and support any form of investigation.

ECOWAS says while it lends support to the present government in any investigative move on the former President Yahya Jammeh, it has not validated the joint declaration by the EU and AU to grant him presidential amnesty.

ECOWAS, AU, UN Congratulate Gambian President, Adama Barrow

ECOWAS, AU, UN Congratulate Gambian President, Adama BarrowThe ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations have congratulated the President of the Republic of The Gambia, Mr Adama Barrow, on the occasion of his swearing-in and assumption of office.

This is following his victory at the presidential election of December 1, 2016 and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.

The joint statement was released on Thursday evening after Adama Barrow took the oath of office in neighbouring Senegal as incumbent Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations equally congratulate the people of The Gambia who have demonstrated patience, discipline, maturity and resolve to defend their popular will, as expressed in the 1st December, 2016 presidential election and during the post-electoral crisis.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again commend the independence, professionalism and commitment of members of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia and all political parties for exercising the needed restraint that paved way for the peaceful conduct of the 1st December, 2016 presidential election.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations commend the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Her Excellency (Mrs) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, as well as His Excellency  Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana and Co-Mediator, for the efforts undertaken for the resolution of the post-electoral impasse in The Gambia in full compliance with constitutional legality to ensure peaceful transfer of power.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations urge His Excellency Adama Barrow to take all necessary steps to strengthen national unity, social harmony and peace in the Gambia with a view to addressing the socio-political and economic challenges that have hampered poverty reduction in the country.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again urge the Security Forces to observe neutrality and conduct themselves in a civil manner, and to strongly support President Barrow by maintaining public order and security which are essential to the stability and development of the country.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations reaffirm their commitment to continue accompanying The Gambia in consolidating democracy and rule of law in the country,” the statement reads.

ECOWAS Mandates Deployment Of Forces To The Gambia

ECOWAS Mandates Deployment Of Forces To The GambiaThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has formally approved the deployment of troops to The Gambia.

In a statement signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, the federal government explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in The Gambia in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.

The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.

 

Buhari Reassures ECOWAS Commission Of Nigeria’s Full Support

ecowas, ECOWAS CommissionPresident Muhammadu Buhari pledged on Thursday in Abuja that Nigeria will continue to meet all its obligations to the ECOWAS Commission.

Receiving the new President of the Commission, Mr Marcel Alain de Souza, at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari assured him that Nigeria will go on playing its leadership role in ECOWAS.

The President told Mr de Souza that the Federal Government will also strive to show a good example to others by meeting all its financial obligations to the sub-regional organisation.

Mr de Souza commended President Buhari for Nigeria’s recent successes in the war against terrorism and insurgency.

He noted that with terrorist attacks spreading to countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and others, security had to be accorded more priority by ECOWAS.

“Without security, there can’t be development and progress,” the new Commission President stressed.

ECOWAS Members Meet To Deliberate On Proliferation Of Small Arms

ecowasThe Chairpersons of National Commissions on Small Arms of ECOWAS Member States met in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to deliberate and come up with dynamic approach towards the elimination of the illicit flow of Small Arms among member states.

Declaring the 3-day workshop open, Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Professor Evara Esu, maintained that the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) among ECOWAS States have created a dangerous global situation in terms of rapid development.

According to him, the Nigerian government, through the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, should be committed to ensuring that it collectively dismantles the template from which the problems of insecurity are drawing support.

He averred that it is more noteworthy for political and diplomatic means to be used to resolve conflict and efforts stepped up for peacekeeping, so as to stop the illicit trade at the root.

The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, Salamatu Suleiman, believes Small Arms Proliferation still remains a challenge as demonstrated in the Sahel and in Northern Nigeria through the activities of terrorists and illegal armed groups.

Suleiman sued for the government’s support towards ensuring adequate security at the borders, which according to her, presently allows easy accessibility of dangerous military style weapons to non-state actors.

Jonathan, ECOWAS condemn coup in Mali

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) on Thursday condemned “in strong terms”  the reported coup d’etat by Malian rebel soldiers, who took over control of the country from the democratically-elected government of President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Renegade Malian soldiers went on state television
Renegade Malian soldiers went on state television on Thursday morning to declare that they had suspended the nation’s constitution and seized power in a coup after the government failed to quell a nomad-led rebellion in the north.

The soldiers of the newly formed National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), led by Amadou Konare, read out a brief statement stating that “the CNRDR … has decided to assume its responsibilities by putting an end to the incompetent regime of Amadou Toumani Toure.”

“We promise to hand power back to a democratically elected president as soon as the country is reunified and its integrity is no longer threatened,” said Mr Konare, flanked by about two dozen soldiers.

A nationwide curfew was subsequently declared “until further notice”.

The West-African country has struggled to contain a northern rebellion launched late last year by local Tuareg nomads in which dozens have been killed and nearly 200,000 civilians have fled their homes.

President Jonathan, who expressed displeasure and dismay over the action of the renegade troops, described the move as “an apparent setback to the consolidation of democracy in Mali in particular and the African continent in general.”

He warned the coup plotters to allow the on-going democratic process in the country to run its full course and not to do anything that would truncate the electoral process especially the presidential election slated for next month.

Also the ECOWAS Commission in a statement by the President, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo, strongly condemned what it called the “misguided actions of the mutineers” and warned that it will not condone any recourse to violence as a means of seeking redress.

ECOWAS noted that it has been following the unfolding events in Bamako with dismay and mounting concern, following the mutiny by a section of the military at the Kati Barracks on the outskirts of the capital city.

The disturbances sparked by elements within the armed forces are all the more reprehensible, coming amidst the on-going regional and international efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the rebellion in the north of the country, and a day after a special ministerial session of the AU Peace and Security Council on the matter ended in Bamako.

ECOWAS reminds the military of its responsibility under the Constitution, and reiterate its policy of “Zero Tolerance” for any attempt to obtain or maintain power by unconstitutional means.

The sub-regional group warned that it will “respond appropriately to any attempts to further disturb the precarious security situation.”