‘Free Movement within ECOWAS will Strengthen Regional Integration’

The Director, Free Movement and Tourism, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nfaly Sanoh, has said that free movement within ECOWAS countries would strengthen regional integration.

Mr. Sanoh stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abidjan on Tuesday.

According to him, regional integration can be achieved with the implementation of the already approved bio-metric identity card that can be used by ECOWAS citizens to travel within the sub region.

He said that in Dec. 2014, after the 73rd ordinary session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in Abuja, a communiqué issued indicated that the bio-metric card would replace the Travel Certificate.

“Free movement of persons within our sub-region is a pillar of regional integration. ECOWAS has put in place some strategies to facilitate movement of people in our sub region.

“We have already on ground, ECOWAS passport and ECOWAS travel document, but the new bio-metric card will facilitate movement of persons within the sub region.

“This means that citizens can use the bio-metric ID cards to travel within the sub-region, and do not need to use passports,” Mr. Sanoh said.

He said that implementing the use of the bio-metric card by 2016, was on the front burner for discussion during the conference on Citizenship and Statelessness: Challenges and opportunities.