ECOWAS parliament adopts Act to enhance its powers

Channels Television  
Updated June 16, 2012

The ECOWAS Parliament has unanimously adopted the Draft Supplementary Act of the ECOWAS Parliament, which seeks to transform the parliament from an advisory institution to a law making body.

This followed the conclusion of debate and adoption of the report of the ad hoc committee on the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament during the 2012 first extra-ordinary session of the parliament in Abuja.

Addressing the session, the Speaker of the Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said that the quest for the enhancement of the powers of the Parliament was informed by the need to make it a true legislative institution.

He noted that a legislature primarily connotes a law making body and that anything to the contrary detracts the essence of any legislative institution.

The sub-region parliament for West-African nations has also come down hard on child trafficking and labour, describing both as a twin evil that must be blotted out from region.

The ECOWAS parliament also known as the community parliament is seen by West Africans as a forum for dialogue, consultation and consensus for representatives of the peoples of West Africa with the aim of promoting integration.

ECOWAS parliament was established under the Article 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS revised Treaty of 1993. But this body lacks the legal power to make effective laws that are binding on member nations as it relates to the strategic mandate of the organ which ought to promote regional economic integration and enhanced trade relations among the citizens of the member nations.