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“We will do our best to represent the people and give them a voice”- ECOPARL Speaker Assures

Speaker of the regional Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt Honourable Dr Sidie Mohamed Tunis has assured that the composition of the regional parliament will ensure that they represent the people of the region and in turn give them a voice.

Speaker Tunis made this assurance during his opening statement at the ongoing 2021 2nd ECOWAS Parliament Ordinary Session taking place in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

During his statement, the Rt Speaker of the regional parliament said in fulfilling their activity program for the year 2021, “we held Delocalized Meetings, Fact Finding Missions, Election Observation Missions, as well as Parliamentary Oversight Visits. The reports from these activities will also be considered and adopted in the days ahead.”

According to the ECOWAS Speaker, the current 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.

Specifically, he said, ECOWAS Parliament is expected to ensure that the estimates are directed towards programs that address the needs of the people.

He referred to Article 17.2a, which states that “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 fulfillment of this statutory responsibility, Dr Tunis said “we are expected to render opinion, including where necessary, proposals for the amendment to the draft Community Budget.”

Furthermore, the Speaker added that ECOWAS Parliament should ensure that allocation of resources reflects real priorities. “It is also not enough that the budget surmounts the immediate threats brought upon us by COVID-19, it should also advance efforts to make progress on other fronts and priorities, which our region continues to value: democracy, rule of law, peace and conflict resolution, the fight against terrorism, poverty reduction and climate change,” he said.

As a result, the Speaker said that “peace in our region can only be consolidated and sustained if we bring development to our people.” Therefore, he urged that in the exercise of their oversight responsibility as enshrined in Article 7 Paragraph C of the supplementary Act, “we must seek for greater accountability and transparency in the execution of the budget.”

Consequently, Speaker Tunis made a “clarion call to us all is that we commit totality to the enormous task at hand and work diligently to exhaust the work program for this session within the limited time we have available to us.”

©️ Communications and Media Team of the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament

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