By Favour Nnabugwu
Arrangements are all concluded to host the 115 members of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS PARLIAMENT in Nigeria.
According to the legislative agenda set on its draft Order Paper, the Session which will open on 9 June 2022, is scheduled to close on 2 July 2022.
This is in line with Article 27 of the Supplementary Act A/SA.1/1/16 relating to the Enhancement of Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament.
During this session, Parliament will deliberate on the draft community regulations emanating from the ECOWAS Commission, examine Community strategies targeted at improving governance, address issues of unconstitutional change of government and proffer solutions towards democratic consolidation in the sub-region
One of the key highlights of this First Ordinary Session is the presentation of the State of the Community report by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency, Jean Claude Kassi Brou.
This is in accordance with Article 32 of the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of the Powers of Parliament, which stipulates that: “At each ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament, the President of the Commission shall present a general report on the state of implementation of the Community’s work programme”.
The presentation by the President of the Commission provides an opportunity for Members of Parliament, as representatives of the people, to track and oversight the implementation of community programmes.
This remains an important process within the institutional functioning of ECOWAS.
Meanwhile, an interactive session is also planned with the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, on the main initiatives of the departments within its technical competence.
Also on the agenda of the session are Parliamentary workshops where public, private and the organized Civil Society are expected to share their concerns and challenges, as well as present and explain to regional Members of Parliament, their missions, achievements.
The ECOWAS Parliament which is a Representative Assembly of the peoples of the Community has a statutory and guaranteed minimum of (5) seats for each of the 15 Member States, while the remaining forty seats are distributed in proportion to the population of each country.
Consequently, Nigeria has 35 of the 115 seats, followed by Ghana with eight seats. Others are Côte d’Ivoire seven Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal with six seats each. The other Member States namely, Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo have five seats each.