ECOWAS: NLC urges Nigeria to oppose admission of Morocco

Photo credit: Asoko Insight
Photo credit: Asoko Insight

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly not to vote for the admission of Morocco into Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa, OTUWA, Workshop held in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation, ILO.

The Kingdom of Morocco had applied to join the ECOWAS.

The application is currently being considered by the member states and the relevant council of ECOWAS.

The theme of the two-day workshop is “Rebuilding and Consolidating OTUWA and the Challenges of Implementing its 5years Strategic Plan’’.

Mr. Wabba said; “We can’t find a clause permitting a geographically non-West African State to become a member of the organisation.

“Our concern in the NLC is that Morocco has a record of quarrelling with its neighbours and even the entire continent.

“That’s why it stayed away from the Organisation of African Union (OAU), later AU, for over 30 years.

“Similarly, we cannot be hobnobbing with a monarchy which is against the wish of the international community, the UN and the AU.

“To be specific, Morocco has continued to illegally occupy Western Sahara, and is holding it as a colony.”

He also called on OTUWA member countries to appeal to their governments and national legislatures not to endorse the application of Morocco as a member of ECOWAS.

Mr. Wabba while speaking on the theme said it was apt to assess how far the organisation had gone on the journey.

“I am sure our comrades and colleagues might express concerns that we have not yet obtained the necessary diplomatic status for OTUWA since the office became operational in Nigeria.

“I am aware that the OTUWA secretariat had submitted the application about a year or so ago after the OTUWA leadership had visited the relevant ministries.

“The process of obtaining the required approval has been hindered by governmental procedure and processes.

“I want to assure you all that we shall follow-up on the pending application with the Minister of Labour and his other colleagues to ensure that this matter is put behind us. ‘’

However, the NLC president expressed condolence to the Sierra Leone people over the recent mudslide that claimed many lives, adding that the congress would support the call for solidarity assistance.

Declaring open the two-day workshop, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, called on the trade unions to ensure that their unions embrace social dialogue.

Mr. Ngige said that social dialogue was imperative as it encouraged peace and harmony in the various sectors of the economy.

Also, Mademba Sock, OTUWA President, expressed dismay over the delay of Nigerian government in signing its headquarters agreement located in Nigeria.

“We intimated the relevant government officials when we visited Nigeria in May 2016 on the need for effective take off of the secretariat.

“We have since put up a formal request to this effect.

“It is our hope that the relevant government agencies would give expedited consideration and approval to our application.”

The OTUWU president said the workshop was to enable them look at ways of implementing the roadmap of building a strong and dynamic labour movement in the West African sub-region in the coming years.

“It is our hope that this programme will provide us with the opportunity to have a serious conversation on the real and potential challenges faced in the implementation phase of our strategic plan.”



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  • Marokkanisher

    Among ECOWAS countries, Morocco is ranked 6th in Democracy index, better than Nigeria.

    *Morocco haven’t seen a war in decades, scores way way better than Nigeria in Global Peace Index.

    *has the 2nd biggest economy after Nigeria (Population with only 34 million and no natural resources like oil and gas).
    *2nd GDP per capita (Nominal) after Cape Verde (So close though).. and 1st in terms of GDP per capita (PPP).

    *Exports are so diversified and 2nd behind Nigeria in exports noting that the later exports oil and gas mainly.

    *Unemployment is 10%, right but it’s because more people lives in urban areas than rural areas and due to rigid labor law.. but still better than Nigeria with 14% (France 10%).

    *Morocco is in a good financial situation, not heavily indebted like said.

    *Only Burkina faso scores better than Morocco in Logistics Performance Index.

    Better in Governance, poverty, literacy etc..

    In legal matters, you don’t know better than experts inside the union, it’s an economic union not a political or geographical one, Mauritania was a former member of ECOWAS and Maghreb union in same time!
    So your arguments are just racist, political and historical ones.. with this mentality you’ll never make a progress.

    Don’t understand me wrong, i don’t want my country to be admitted because i’m against the idea of economic or political unions, especially if it’s an unfunctional, racist one… we need our sovereignty, solving the problems of +300 million person is much harder to solve the problems of x10 smaller population, we already made bigger progress without you, do we don’t need you now

    • un spkn

      “Among ECOWAS Countries”. Morocco is not an ECOWAS Country. Not by the definition which classifies countries regionally. Nigeria has not challenged your claims on democracy or development. “Economic Community of WEST AFRICAN STATES” is solely for countries in WEST AFRICA. (I.E your country is geographically situated in the western part of the continent, Africa) Moroco is not in West Africa. Morocco can join ECOWAS when Nigeria joins the EU.

      • Toufik Sabour

        I’m tired of this ” Morocco is not west Africa” none sense. PLEASE TYPE INTO GOOGLE THE WORD “WEST AFRICA” AND SEE. If you take a quick look at Africa’s map, you will find that Morocco is more west of Africa than Nigeria. Almost all descriptions of Morocco’s geographical location confirm that it is a north west African country. In fact if you look closely at the map you will soon notice Nigeria is almost closer to central Africa, not west Africa. And yes we want you to reach the EU. But only through the gas pipe project we want to develop with you. Do you understand amigo?

        • Pluti

          Morroco is not Western Africa but Northern, only the disputed Western Sahara is closer to the western part of Africa. Draw an equal line between the middle and see the geographical lines yourself. If West African countries accept Morocco into ECOWAS, then I guess they will be disputing the sovereignty of Western Sahara. And to correct your statement, Nigeria is a typical west African country, in terms of positioning, climate, culture, even the geographical lines clearly illustrates it

      • larakidarki

        While the EU doesnt care who is east south north or west the ECOWAS is worried about who is south east west or north

      • Marokkanisher

        Yes of course it’s not an ECOWAS country, who cares i’m not a native English speaker anyway so don’t focus on language.

        Nigeria has not challenged our claims but your people use political and economical arguments to justify the rejection of the admission request, so i’m just clarifying that if they are objective they would recognise that those arguments either gives Morocco priority over Nigeria (and other countries obviously) to be a member or it means every country scoring less than Morocco in those indicators must not be a member.

        So the arguments don’t hold up, and i only object to them for the reasons that they are meant to attack my country and because those people don’t have the authority to do so.
        I agree somehow with geographical argument and i’m glad and i hope it’s an obstacle to the admission.

  • larakidarki

    Shut up about Western Sahara and lets talk about Biafra

  • John Barnes

    ECOWAS is an Economical Union ,NLC is mixing politics and economy which is completely wrong .Morocco is a North West African country .and will work to improve African population life in the west of Africa as is doing it in all Africa.

  • Toufik Sabour

    Baru disclosed at the meeting that Morocco’s supply of phosphate to Nigeria to rejuvenate her agriculture sector with the availability of affordable fertiliser was yielding results and had created up to 50,000 jobs.