There are areas of cooperation among the member states. For example, Benin and Nigeria have begun joint ventures in cement and sugar production in Benin; Guinea and Nigeria are involved in joint venture iron ore mining in Guinea ( Nigeria controls 16.2% of the Mifergui project for input into its steel industry); and Nigeria has invested in petroleum refining in Togo and Senegal. It should be noted, however, that these projects are bilateral efforts rather than conforming to the spirit and letter of the ECOWAS treaty ( Onyemelukwe, 1984: 205). As previously noted, the Pan African Telecommunications Project is already underway, financed by the ECOWAS Fund and outside resources. As part of the plan to construct the Trans-West Africa Highway extending from Nouakchott, Mauritania, to Lagos, in 1985 the ECOWAS Fund had made loans to Benin to construct two bridges and authorized loans for construction of the Freetown-Monrovia road ( Lancaster, 1985: 72).
The Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence, and Establishment was promulgated and implemented without ECOWAS members fully understanding the potentially negative consequences of the act. One lesson to be learned from the experience by the community is that conscious and systemic education of the general public of ECOWAS's goals, benefits, and costs should be undertaken. A second lesson is that the unrestrained movement of labor in the absence of protective measures against unemployment and crime does not contribute to the member-states' economic well-being. Provisions to deal with the educational, employment, housing, and social service needs of the migrants must accompany freedom-of-movement legislation ( Asante, 1986: 160).
Despite the serious and continuous domestic distractions, the leaders of ECOWAS member states, on a rhetorical basis, have not abandoned hope for the community's success. The majority of the member states, in an obvious attempt to shelter the community from negative regional and international fallout from the Nigerian decision, denied the significance of the expulsion as an indicator of a weakened commitment to ECOWAS objectives.