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Saraki ECOWAS must give parliament authorisation to legislate

Saraki made the appeal at the 2016 First Ordinary Session of the parliament in Abuja on Monday,May 16, 2016.

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Bukola Saraki

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Senate President Bukola Saraki has appealed to member states to give the ECOWAS Parliament greater authorisation to legislate on common issues to facilitate sub-regional development.

Saraki made the appeal at the 2016 First Ordinary Session of the parliament in Abuja on Monday,May 16, 2016.

"Other regional bodies including those who we inspired have moved faster towards integration than we have.

"Sadly, this has been due to our inability to add to the institutional building blocks and muster the courage to reorder our structures for the vision of a virile and integrated ECOWAS.

"The ECOWAS Parliament remains a critical place to start.

"We must as a necessity give the parliament great authorisation and capacity to duly legislate on common areas and provide oversight on certain issues of common interest and interdependency.

"For as long as we are unable to or fail to remit to this parliament more powers, the dreams of greater integration will continue to remain a myth. This singular reason may be responsible for the lack of adequate cohesion in the fight against terrorism, cross border crimes and the implementation of agreed trade agreements and protocols.”
He said that the parliament had come of age to legislate and provide oversight on issues that would promote integration and enhance intra African relations.

The Senate President emphasised that more progress was needed in the areas of enforcement of ECOWAS regional trade agreements with enhanced legislative powers of the parliament.

He also commended past efforts made by the parliament in its current capacity as an advisory body adding that citizens needed to understand the ECOWAS mandate beyond free movement.

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