ECOWAS Parliament harps on Regional Integration as Ordinary session ends

Adoba Echono

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The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has called on members to foster the ideals of regional integration in their respective countries.

Dr. Tunis, who made the remark at the closing of the Community Parliament’s First Ordinary Session in 2021, also charged the representatives to take the message of the Community Levy to their respective nations.

While emphasizing the importance of the community levy to the workings of the ECOWAS Institutions, the speaker of the regional parliament noted that a strong institution will bring about a stronger West Africa.

As members of Parliament, our major responsibility is to represent the people and work towards the transformation of our community into a self-sufficient, prosperous, sustainable and peaceful sub-region.

“The community levy is a vital instrument to ensure that our community institutions can function and serve the interest of our people.

“We need to take back control of our lives and the future of our people, but we would not be able to do so without adequate funds for the community.

“Institutions that will stand the test of time are those that deliver quality service. This quality cannot be compromised and member states need to ensure that ECOWAS maintains its quality through building strong and lasting institutions.

“So I implore you all to go back to your respective countries and utilize your mandate and influence to ensure that each member state fulfills our commitment to our people,” he said.

Dr. Tunis commended the parliamentarians and other stakeholders for their attendance despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

He expressed gratitude that for the first time since the inauguration of the 5th Legislature of the Parliament, this was the first meeting being held.

This is a very significant gain that should not be underemphasized given the circumstances under which we find ourselves today.

“With this in mind, it would be pertinent to tap into the talent that exists between us to create an ideal ECOWAS Region.

“The community integration and development is indeed a collective task that must continue to be improved upon by all stakeholders.

“Our Sub Region must continue to sour high until we attain the desired heights,” he said

Giving insight into the activities of the session, Dr. Tunis said that parliament was able to adopt the report of the last session, standing committees and joint committees.

“I am proud of the work done by members of parliament, especially in the technical discussions leading to the conclusion of parliament advisory opinion.”

He used the opportunity to re-emphasize the need for Direct Universal Suffrage as a way of attaining a true status of Parliament.

As I stated in my opening address, the first step towards attaining full parliamentary status is the direct election of members to Parliament, this also means that we must step up the task at hand.

“It would be a continuous struggle but we must rise to the occasion. Great nations thrive on hard work, innovative ideas and good investments,” he said.

He congratulated Members of Parliament, who won their parliamentary seats in elections conducted in some member states, urging them to serve well and never betray the trust.

Suzan O

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