By Africa Review
The West Africa regional bloc, Ecowas, in collaboration with member states, has started scapping resident permit for citizens of member countries residing in other member countries.
A statement by the Ecowas commission in Abuja that resident permits restricted the movement of persons and goods and should be abandoned.
“The resident permit has been a source of discrimination and harassment of community citizens”, the statement quoted the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadré Ouadraogo as saying.
The 35-years-old ‘Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment’, entitles community citizens to visit and reside freely in countries within the region for 90 days without a visa.
Under the protocol, citizens should enjoy the right of entry, stay, residence, establishment and access to the community’s Court of Justice.
The statement however said that some of the challenges encountered in implementing the protocol were regrettable.
West Africa consists of an estimated 350 million inhabitants who move about freely without a passport or visa, but poor road infrastructure and mischievous security measures have mostly been blamed on the success of the movement of people and goods.