The ECOWAS Parliament has called on member-states to step-up efforts to ensure the realisation of the integration of the sub-region.
Speaker of the Parliament, Moustapha Cissé Lo, made the call in an interview with newsmen at the end of the 2016 First Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature of the Parliament in Abuja on Saturday.
Cissé Lo, who spoke through an interpreter, said member-states needed to make more efforts to speed up the integration process in order to promote social and economic development in the sub-region.
`Today is ECOWAS Day which is a happy day for us, and ECOWAS as a bloc should strive for more integration in different areas like security, infrastructure and health.
“When the founding fathers decided to set up ECOWAS, it was because they wanted integration, knowing fully that it would lead to economic and social development.
“ All we have noticed is that the integration process is very slow probably because of lack of political will.
`What we will like the Heads of State to do is to speed-up the integration process.
“We believe that if we really have free movement of goods and persons, a single currency, a free trade zone then we will nearly be there.”
The speaker reiterated the call for enhanced legislative powers of the parliament; adding that the enhancement would enable the bloc to “truly respond to the demands of our populations”.
He commended the level of collaboration and cooperation between the ECOWAS institutions and reassured that the cooperation would put in place measures that would facilitate the realisation of the ECOWAS vision.
ECOWAS was founded on 28 May 1975 with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos and was established with a mission to promote economic integration across the sub-region.