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We will support ECOWAS – Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki


By Nsikan Ikpe


Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has declared the readiness of the Nigerian parliament to contribute its utmost to the work of the ECOWAS Parliament.
According to him, this was most crucial because ‘deepening the integration of ECOWAS would help us to fill in the legislative gaps that can aid in our regional development agendas.’
He stated the importance of all actors in the sub-region working together to encourage and deepen ECOWAS integration.
He was speaking on the occassion of the formal opening of the ECOWAS Parliament.

On how well the community has fared since its inception 41 years ago, Saraki noted that ‘it is clear that the average citizen of the ECOWAS is yet to feel meaningfully the impact of the ECOWAS union beyond free movement.’

He also called attention to the fact that security challenges remain reminders of the need for us to revisit our protocols and treaties in order to create a stronger union in ECOWAS.
‘As various governments scramble to find a foothold for the proper coordination of intelligence – the ECOWAS parliament can play a major role,’ he stated.
Still on the issue of security, he also recalled that the ECOWAS Parliament had played an effective role in 2009 when the Niger Republic political crisis emerged.
He also commended the work of the parliament in providing opinions on various issues such as infrastructural development, observing that through such efforts, the Parliament has shown itself in the past as a primer of integration and a key instrument for stability in the sub region.

‘With greater authorization, it is possible that the ECOWAS parliament would see greater enforcement of ECOWAS regional trade agreements,’ he affirmed.

He also hoped that going forward, the 16-year old ECOWAS parliament can be a body where decisions affecting the welfare of the sub-region will receive greater say and authorisation.

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