ECOWAS Parliament to consider community 2021 budget at virtual Session

Adoba Echono

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The ECOWAS Parliament is set to commence discussion on the 2021 Community’s Budget at its virtual 2nd Second Ordinary Session for 2020.

The virtual 2020 Second Ordinary Session, which commenced on Wednesday the 13th of January, the main agenda is the consideration of the Community Budget and also to consider the Strategic Plan of the 5th Legislature of the Parliament amongst other issues.

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis, in his opening remark disclosed that the session, otherwise known as the “Budget Session”, provides the opportunity, in accordance with provisions of the Supplementary Act, for Parliament to consider the Community’s Budget which specifically is expected to ensure that the estimates are directed towards programmes that address the needs of the people.

According to Mr. Tunis, “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;

“In fulfilment of this statutory responsibility, we are expected to render opinion, including where necessary, proposals for the amendment to the draft Community Budget. Let us be reminded in our consideration of the budget that we are now responding to the worst global pandemic in a century. We live in an era of great uncertainty and increasing risk, overcoming these challenges in the interests of our fellow citizens should be our major priority.”

Six new Parliamentarians were sworn-in into the regional Parliament at the commencement of the Second Ordinary Session holding virtually.

The newly sworn-in Members of Parliament Liberia and the Republic of Guinea are Jonathan Lambort Kaipay (Liberia), Souleymane Keita (Guinea), Hon. Ramatoulaye Labbo Diallo (Guinea), Bandian Neiba Conde (Guinea),  Aboubacar Soumah (Guinea) and Hon Boubacar Diallo (Guinea) respectively.

Welcoming the newly sworn-in MPs into the Parliament, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis urged the newly sworn in to emulate the track records of the out gone members of whom they are replacing and also challenged them to defend and represent the Community Parliament whom they’ve been called to serve.

The statutory Second Ordinary Session of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which normally sits in line with the ECOWAS calendar, to consider and give Parliamentary Opinion on the Community Budget proposal adopted by the Administration and Finance Commission (AFC) of ECOWAS, was initially slated to hold, in person, at Abuja, the seat of Parliament.

However, following the reality of the 2nd wave of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, the Bureau of Parliament approved that the session hold via videoconference, from Wednesday, 13 to Tuesday, 19 January, 2021.

Nnenna.O

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