President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, must run a leaner and smarter organisation by cutting costs and becoming more efficient to achieve the objectives of the sub-regional body.
Speaking while receiving the new President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Brou at the State House, Abuja, the President also called on the member states of the organisation to pay their annual contributions as and when due.
Mr Buhari said a lot of work had already been done towards cutting running cost for which a committee had recommended the reduction of the number of commissioners, and a drastic reduction in the cost of keeping them in office.
“We must work towards limiting costs, keeping the number of statutory positions low and running the organisation more efficiently,” he said.
The Nigerian leader, while welcoming the new President of the ECOWAS Commission to Abuja, pledged the full support of the government of Nigeria in ensuring that his tenure was successful.
According to Mr Buhari, “The task is enormous. The job is not easy, given the many challenges facing the sub-region, ranging from issues of security and that posed by the environment, including the shrinkage of the Lake Chad.”
He however, stressed the full commitment of Nigeria working with other ECOWAS member countries, towards finding lasting solution to the problems.
In his remarks, Mr Brou, said he had come to inform Mr Buhari that he had assumed office at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja from this week, and fully prepared to address priority issues such as the common currency, restructuring of the organisation and the pending issue of new memberships.
He also presented a special message from the Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara to Mr Buhari and condoled him on the recent deaths of his family members.