The outgone Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was upbeat about the achievements of the Community Parliament under his leadership as he gave his final address at the inauguration of the Fourth Legislature in Abuja on Thursday. He identified the Supplementary Act to Enhancement the Power of the Parliament as the greatest accomplishment of the Third Legislature even as he said the non-signing of the document by the Authority dashed the expectations. The Act did not get the needed signatures to bring it into force due to concerns by some stakeholders even after it was well received initially, Senator Ekweremadu disclosed.
"The most important objective and success recorded by the Third Legislature of the Community Parliament remains the adoption of the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament by the Community Decision Making bodies."
Senator Ekweremadu declared. He explained that a lot of efforts went into achieving the Supplementary Act, which was followed up with advocacy to the National Parliaments of the Community. “The ECOWAS Council of Ministers, at its 73rd Ordinary Session in Abuja from 9th to 11th December 2014, considered and adopted the financial implication and recommended the Supplementary Act for adoption by the Authority of Heads of State and Government.” Although the Authority adopted the Act at its 46th Ordinary Session in Abuja on December 15, 2014 it was however not signed as scheduled at the 47th Ordinary Session of the Authority in Accra in May 2015 owing to what Senator Ekweremadu described as “a few misgivings by other stakeholders.” According to him, it is shameful that the ECOWAS Parliament remains “the only regional parliament in the world without oversight powers.”
The former Speaker listed other achievements of the Third Legislature to include capacity building for staff and Members of the ECOWAS Parliament through domestic and international training. It also revived the conference of Speakers in the sub-region as the former Speaker expressed the hope that it will continue to be useful to the strengthening the parliaments of member nations.