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After weeks of sitting at the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, the first ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS parliament in 2018 came to an end. Principal among the activities of the Meeting is the ongoing process of institutional reform, which started in 2017 seeking to improve on the efficiency and activities of the ECOWAS parliament.
This Meeting further entrenched interaction between the Parliament and the ECOWAS Commission.
At the closing ceremony, Speaker of Parliament, His Excellency Moustapha Cisse Lo commended the House for “the quality of debates and discussions, the commitment and relevance which the Honourable Members, show more and more in our work.”
He emphasised his desire for more commitment by members and better interaction with the commission.
“I wish that this new innovation will continue during the next Sessions for better cooperation with the ECOWAS Commission.”
In the context of building stronger ties along the ECOWAS corridor, the parliament organised two seminars in partnership with the ECOWAS Commission, network of women parliamentarians in ECOWAS (ECOFEPA) and the Nigerian Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), which focused on democracy and good governance, and the challenges and perspectives of the ECOWAS single currency.
As the session coincides with the month of Ramadan (Muslim Lenten season), he indulged every member to promote peace and brotherliness, being some of the qualities that we need for sustained growth in the region.
H.E. Moustapha Cisse Lo reiterated the ideologies of the founding fathers of ECOWAS “who were aware of the urgent need to create a block, able to encourage, stimulate and accelerate economic and social development to improve the standard of living of the people.”
He however bemoans the fact that these challenges still exist and promises that under his watch as the current Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, he would ensure a continuation of the fundamental principles of the founding father.
“Today, these challenges are still relevant. That is why, the ECOWAS Parliament for which I am Speaker, will project the course for the integration of the people of the economic community, through, inter alia, free movement of people and goods, in order to realize the Vision 2020 which advocates ECOWAS of people.”
He challenged Members of Parliament to be attentive to the plight of their people in their respective states so that it can be shared and deliberated upon at ECOWAS parliament in order to attain required result of ECOWAS of people and ensure a profound economic and social integration.
While the Members of Parliament await the resumption of the 2nd Ordinary Meeting members of different committees will meet in Guinea Bissau, Liberia and la Cote d’Ivoire during their break to discuss issues targeted at uniting the sub-region including: Tax policies in West Africa, review of some Institutions and agencies of the community, including the Inter State group against money laundering (GIABA), the West African Health Organization (WAHO), employment, youth sports and Culture among others.
Source: Iposu Elijah Oluwakayode