Issues relating to free movement and migration, particularly those concerning the implementation of current migration projects being undertaken by the ECOWAS Commission, are being considered at a meeting here of Chief Immigration Officers from member States.
Addressing the opening session of the third annual ECOWAS Heads of Immigration meeting, which opened on Thursday in the Nigerian federal capital city, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs, Industry, Mines and Free Movement, represented by the Director of Free Movement and Migration, Mr. Sanoh N’Fally, urged participants to appraise the achievements so far made in the sector.
He also called on them to conceptualize the appropriate framework, mechanisms, methodologies and administrative procedures that would create the enabling environment for the implementation of the decisions of Heads of State and Government of Member States relevant to the critical indices in the integration process.
The Commissioner emphasized the need to promote the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Establishment which will activate a secure regional cohesion and enhance the region’s potentials to achieve the desired economic stability, reduce poverty level and enhance the standard of living of Community citizens.
He called on participants to actively participate in the production of common technical approaches to issues relating to the deployment of ECOWAS e-passports, the entrenchment of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the training institutions of operatives in Member States, the abolition of Resident Permits for Community citizens as well as the challenges of free movement in the region.
The Commissioner stressed the need for the region to harness the abundant human resources within it to improve the living standards of the citizens and thereby promote regional development strategies.