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Check your spending patterns, Buhari warns ECOWAS leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on ECOWAS member states to urgently review their spending patterns for optimisation of strategic goals of the Community.

President Buhari made the call at the 52nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held on Saturday in Abuja.

He said the call had become imperative in view of the recent recession and economic challenges faced by ECOWAS member states, as evidenced by the severe drop in real growth rate for ECOWAS from 6.1 per cent in 2014 and 3.3 per cent in 2015 to an alarming rate of 0.2 per cent in 2016.

According to him, member states must therefore ensure that resources are put to good economic use to boost peoples’ quality of lives.

He added that “in this regard, I urge the Commission leadership to practice probity and accountability in the management of our resources.”

The President equally stressed the need to consolidate the efforts made so far on reform of ECOWAS Institutions and Specialised Agencies.

The Nigerian leader also emphasised the importance of good governance, sound financial management and cost reduction as underlying factors for successful reform.

He said “in this regard, Nigeria welcomes the approved institutional reforms of our organisation, and we are looking forward to their comprehensive implementation.

“The gains and savings made should be invested in greater integration projects, as well as on security and development initiatives.”

President Buhari had on December 15 commended the leadership of ECOWAS Commission for demanding accountability from its Headquarters staff.

Buhari gave the commendation when he received the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, and described the Commission’s invitation of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into its books as a welcome development.