Press Releases

ECOWAS begins 81st ordinary session of the council of ministers

14 Dec, 2018
Dignataries in attendance of the opening ceremony

Abuja, 14th December, 2018. The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Jean-Claude Kassi Brou has reaffirmed the Managements’ commitment to execute its mandate in his remarks while opening the 81st ordinary session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting on 14th December 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Addressing the Ministers, Ambassadors and delegates from Member States, President Brou also stated that during the session he will present the annual report of the Community and give an overview of the trends in the region’s main political, social, economic and human indicators with emphasis on issues affecting the region’s trade liberalization scheme which is the basis of the region’s common market.

The President added that the new draft financial regulations and the new procurement code will be considered during the meeting. ‘The two proposed reforms are intended to modernize our financial management system and align it with international standards’, he said.

In line with the established practice, the session will also examine the draft budget of Community institutions for the year 2019.

On his part, the Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, noted that the path to the full integration of the region is still marked by obstacles in the areas of free movement of people, goods and services.

Geoffery Oyeama, delivering his remarks during the opening ceremony
President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou making a statement during open

Hence, he said that the Ministers would use this opportunity to review the report of the task force on the implementation of the region’s free trade protocol.

‘It is therefore our collective responsibility to ensure that at the national level, relevant regional protocols are domesticated and effectively implemented’, he noted.

Furthermore, Mr. Onyeama reminded the participants of the commencement of negotiations on the future African, Caribbean and Pacific- European Union (ACP-EU) relations after 2020. He highlighted that those negotiations will impact the region’s long term economic partnership with the EU.

While recalling the fundamental objective of ECOWAS which is to promote integration through the execution of people oriented programmes, Mr. Onyeama stressed the need to accelerate efforts towards monetary union by meeting the convergence criteria and achieving the harmonization of tariff regimes which would serve as concomitant to the growth of the region.

He stated that in addition to reviewing the budget which will be presented by the Administration and Finance Committee, the Council of Ministers will deliberate on the financial situation of the Community, the report of the Auditor General of ECOWAS institutions and the ongoing institutional reform.

Closing his remarks, Mr. Onyeama reiterated the collective commitment of the Council of Ministers to work together towards the advancement of regional integration.

The 81st ordinary session of the Council of Ministers meeting will deliberate on various issues and information tabled before them ahead of the summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government scheduled for 22nd December 2018, in Abuja.

Member States