By Victoria Ojeme
The Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, has called on the MTN Foundation, EU, UN agencies, African Capacity Building Foundation and a host of other donor agencies to support the Parliament with resources needed for the execution of necessary projects for development of the sub region.
Cisse Lo said the call became imperative due to the dearth of infrastructure in the region and the desire to achieve the integration and development goals of the community.
He was speaking at the closing of the ECOWAS Parliament, Fourth Legislature, 2017 Donors Conference in Abuja.
“We need to impact on the people, that’s why we need to raise necessary resources that will empower us to work.
“We want the partners to take part in security, good governance and the cementing of credible electoral processes across the subregion”, he said.
Adding that, “If we must move from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of people, we need to truly represent the people. If we are not empowered, it will be an exercise in futility.
The speaker noted that the Parliament is not asking for too much, but just something that would support them to fulfill their mandate.
He disclosed that the Parliament is currently facing huge financial challenges that is threatening the realization of the dreams behind the establishment of the regional block.
Following the enhancement of the parliament’s powers in 2016, the legislature has been saddled with more activities and programmes both within and outside the subregion.
Currently, the Parliament derives its revenue from the community levy, which is said to be insufficient for the implementation of activities of all ECOWAS institutions and agencies.
The funds is expected to help ECOWAS address issues such as insecurity, youth unemployment, violent conflicts, terrorism, climate change among others.
He therefore urged participants to come up concrete modalities that would enable them realize the objectives for the fund raising.