PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Monday for Niamey, Niger Republic to participate in the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and government.

According to a statement yesterday in Abuja issued by Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the one-day summit will deliberate on the Special Report on COVID-19 to be presented by President Buhari who was appointed the ECOWAS Champion on the fight against COVID-19 during the Extraordinary Virtual Summit of ECOWAS on April 23, 2020.

The statement informed that President Buhari was expected to coordinate the sub-regional response against the pandemic.

This will be the second time President Buhari will be travelling out of the country since the outbreak of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the statement, “In furtherance of that objective, under the supervision of the Champion, Nigerian Ministers of Health, Aviation and Finance were appointed Chairpersons of the Ministerial Coordination Committees on Health; Transport, Logistics and Trade; and Finance respectively.

“The Summit will also receive a Special Report on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme to be presented by President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), and President Alassane Ouattara, who is Chair of the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA).

“The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou will present to the West African leaders, the 2020 Interim Report on activities of the sub-regional body including ECOWAS Vision 2050.

“The alarming rise in incidents of terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and piracy will also come under focus, while the disruption of the democratic process by the military in Mali, will receive further attention.

“Similarly, in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Niger where parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for this year, the imperative to strengthen democracy in the sub-region by respecting constitutional provisions, rule of law and outcomes of free and fair polls, will be emphasised.”

President Buhari, will be accompanied to the summit by ministers and other top government officials, and will return to Abuja after the meeting.