Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has commenced the 2021 second ordinary session of the regional legislature with deliberations on the 2022 draft budget with which it intends to address challenges facing the sub region.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan who declared the session open in Abuja on Tuesday, charged the regional parliamentarians to focus the budget to address the issues of climate change, insecurity, trans-border crimes and banditry and above all ensure economic development.
He said, “Our efforts to combat these crimes should not be limited to physical measures, but also the sharing of intelligence, coming from the processing of the information that applies to our nations”.
The session tagged: “Budget Session” provides the opportunity, in accordance with the provisions of the Supplementary Act, which mandates the Parliament to specifically ensure that estimates are directed towards programmes that address the needs of the people.
The draft budget of the Parliament was presented in October during its Second Extraordinary Session to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft 2022 budget in Winneba, Ghana.
The 20,401,258 Unit of Account budget aims to produce lasting effects in the region and prioritises activities that are of great benefits for the citizens of the Community.
Speaker of the Parliament Sidie Mohammed Tunis, in his speech, yesterday made specific reference to Article 17.2a, which states that “after the consideration of the Budget by the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC), the report of the AFC on the Budget shall be presented to Parliament during the Parliamentary Budget Session.”
He said in fulfilment of this statutory responsibility, parliamentarians are expected to render opinions, including where necessary, proposals for the amendment to the draft Community Budget.
The president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kasi Brou, in his remark, called on the members of Parliament to examine the draft budget and take into account operational costs of the institutions.