The Nigerian President Bola Tinubu was elected as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Chairman on 9th July, 2023.
He was crowned the ECOWAS Chairman taking over from the President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, at the 63rd Ordinary sessions which was held in Guinea Bissau
After he was crowned the ECOWAS Chairman, he promised to take democracy seriously, in his words, he said:
“We will take Democracy seriously, Democracy is very tough, but it is the best form of Government”
He also added that peace and security in Nigeria and other parts of Africa has reached to an alarming level, which he is ready for a drastic measures to be taken. He added that everyone needs to join hands on deck to remain committed to the utilization of all the regional frameworks to help address the menace of insecurity.
What are President Tinubu’s roles as ECOWAS Chairman?
As ECOWAS Chairman, Tinubu will be overseeing all the affairs on ECOWAS for a one year duration.
The role of a Chairman in ECOWAS is different to that of the President. ECOWAS president can preside over the affairs of the commission for non-renewable period of four years which is determined by the Authority of a President, which Tinubu now leads.
Which now means that Tinubu as the President of the country has the authority to appoint including general direction, policy changes and control of the ECOWAS community.
As the Chairman of ECOWAS, his duties includes: coordinating the economic, technical, scientific, social, cultural, and other guidelines for members states, he also can implement the community’s aims and objectives.
As ECOWAS Chairman, he can also promote co-operation within the economic union in West Africa in order to raise the living standards of it’s people, which can relatively contribute in the progress and development of Africa at large.
- The main objectives includes the harmonization of national policies and promotion of integration programmes, activities and projects.
- Establishment of a common market through liberation of trade
- Authority to abolish custom duties levied on imports and exports
- Power to Establish non-tariff barriers in order to establish free trade among member states and others
List of previous Nigerian leaders whom have held the Office
- Yakubu Gowon was the founding fathers of the ECOWAS Community in 1975
- Olusegun Obasanjo was ECOWAS Chairman between 1978 – 1979
- Muhammadu Buhari 1985
- Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida was ECOWAS Chairman from 1985 – 1989
- Sani Abacha was ECOWAS Chairman from 1996 – 1998
- Abdulsalami Abubakar was ECOWAS Chairman from 1998 – 1999
- Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the first democratically elected President to be ECOWAS Chairman between 2008 and 2020
- Goodluck Jonathan was ECOWAS Chairman from 2011 – 2012
- Muhammadu Buhari Again was ECOWAS Chairman from 2018 – 2019