ECOWAS commits 1.5m dollars to boost cross-border security

ECOWAS commits 1.5m dollars to boost cross-border security

By Ibrahim Bello, Birnin Kebbi.


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it will commit 1.5 million U.S. dollars to infrastructure development in cross-border areas in the region.


ECOWAS’s Director of Agricultural Development, Mr Alain Traore, stated this on Monday in Birnin Kebbi, at the validation workshop on holistic cross-border cooperation document for trio border regions.


The three regions are Kebbi State (Nigeria), Dossou Region (Niger Republic), and Alibori Department (Benin Republic).


Traore said that the Commission adopted a new step towards building socio-economic infrastructure in cross-border areas, to prevent conflict between herders and farmers, and also counter negative impacts of terrorism in the communities.


He said that this could be achieved by committing a lot of funds from the ECOWAS member states through investment in infrastructure facilities for the benefit of women and the people at large in the cross-border areas.


“The commitment on this will be 1.5 million U.S. dollars for all the cross-border areas in ECOWAS states.


“In Kebbi State, Alibori and Dossou, we will be committing 350,000 U.S. dollars for each state annually, for specific infrastructure facilities in these areas.


“The commitment of the ECOWAS was meant to resolve conflicts between the herders and farmers within the region.


“This infrastructure will be equally shared by the women and men, so that they can exercise their activities to promote their welfare.


“This commitment is within the framework of ECOWAS conflict resolution and ECOWAS is against terrorism and negative impacts of banditry and terrorism effects in our communities,” he said.


Earlier, Adamu Adaji, Director-General, National Boundary Commission of Nigeria, said that the multi-stakeholders’ intervention focused on the grassroots actors, particularly those operating in the cross-border areas.


He said that the support for the programme was imperative, owing to the security challenges arising from conflicts between herders and farmers across West Africa and the Sahel region.


Adaji said that the choice of Kebbi to host the validation workshop was critical, in view of its strategic location — sharing common borders with Dossou (Niger Republic) and Alibori (Benin Republic).


“The state also serves as a sub-regional route for many trans-humans, herds from Niger, Benin, Togo and Ghana.


“More importantly is the appreciative importance, which Gov. Atiku Bagudu (of Kebbi) had shown for this project through his passion and commitment,” he said.


The NBCN boss said the governor demonstrated greater commitment to the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda to boost food and livestock productions.


He added that the government accorded premium to pastoral and livestock management in the country.


“The government demonstrated this clearly in her efforts at identifying, retracing and demarcating the primary livestock routes in all the geopolitical zones of the country.


“The government also continued to explore various options for the management of pastoralism and livestock to reduce conflicts between herders and farmers over access to land and use of other natural resources,” he said.


According to Adaji, the validation of the document will promote and facilitate inter-communal dialogue and strengthen the desired cross-border cooperation in their shared space and across the colonial inherited borders.


He also commended the governor for his support towards successful implementation of the programme.


In his remarks, Bagudu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries, Alhaji Aminu Garba-Dandiga, thanked representatives of Benin, Niger and other relevant stakeholders for participating in the exercise.


The validation meeting is sequel to the high-level dialogue on pastoralism held in September 2021, as part of the activities lined up to round off the West Africa Integrated and Secure Pastoralism Project, Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project of African Union Border Programme.

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