By Chinelo Chikelu,
Nigeria’s senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki, has urged ECOWAS parliamentarians to seek African solutions to African problems.
Senator Saraki represented by his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, at the 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament commended the legislative institute’s recently enhanced powers from an advisory to legislating body, specifically in the areas of community budget oversight and the review of programme implementing agencies of ECOWAS. He however, stressed that parliament deploy its acquired powers towards strengthening regional citizenship and to improving the lives of peoples of the region.
Identifying myriads of issues plaguing the region – hunger, displacement and humanitarian crises, terrorism and insecurity and, environmental degradation – he advised parliamentarians while noting western steps to peace and security resolutions to Syria and Somalia, to focus on African driven solutions to her problems. “It is my hope that this assembly’s newly enhanced capacity and authorization, regional lawmakers can better work towards African solutions to many challenges bedeviling the West Africa territorial space,” Saraki.
Reaffirming Nigeria’s support to the ECOWAS via the implementation of the various protocols aimed at heightening regional integration, Saraki said the National Assembly looks to amending laws necessary to smoothen the election of Nigeria’s 35 delegates in the regional parliament.
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cissè Lo addressing the MPs and representatives of member states national assemblies from Togo, Hon. Dama Dramani, and the Republic of Niger, Hon. Ousseini Tinni, assured the parliament’s determination to effectively exercise its new powers.
He said the session devoted in entirety to the review of the community’s budget will pave the way for the first extraordinary session in 2018 in Dakar, Senegal where the legislative organ will hold an international forum on the challenges of migration and free movement of persons and goods in the ECOWAS region.
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