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House to Re-evaluate Benefits, Contributions of ECOWAS to Nigeria

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Inter-parliamentary Relations and ECOWAS Parliament and Foreign Affairs to appraise the benefits and contributions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards the socio-economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last 10 years. According to the lawmakers, this is with a view to determine the justification of the country’s financial contribution to the sub regional organisation (ECOWAS). The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Awaji-inombek Abiante.

Moving the motion, Abiante noted that ECOWAS also known as CEDEAO in French, was established by the Treaty of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria, on May 28, 1975, with the main goal of promoting economic cooperation among member states in order to raise living standards and promote economic development.

He also noted that the regional political and economic union of 15 countries called ECOWAS has its headquarters in Abuja, and its arms of governance include the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.

The lawmaker said the House is aware that in 16 years, Nigeria has contributed more than $1.177 billion to ECOWAS as its Community Levy, and this is the highest contribution by any member state since inception.

Abiante said ECOWAS Vision 2050, if well implemented, would ensure a secure, stable and peaceful region; a region endowed with strong institutions that complies with the rule of law and fundamental freedoms; and a fully integrated and prosperous region and sustainable development.

While lamenting that despite Nigeria’s larger-than-life financial contributions to the ECOWAS, the country and its citizen have not benefitted immensely from it, suggesting that there is a need to appraise the benefits and contributions towards the socio-economic development of Nigeria and Nigerians in the last 10 years.

Adopting the motion, the House gave the committees six weeks to carry out the assignment and report back for further legislative action.

Also at the plenary, the lawmakers, while adopting a motion on the destruction of crops and farmland in Bassa Jos North constituency of Plateau State, urged the Inspector General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba, and heads of other security agencies to initiate a coordinated joint security operation and provide surveillance and support to flush out criminally minded herdsmen in their camp within the constituency.

The sponsor, Hon. Musa Adar, had while moving the motion lamented that if it’s not resolved, it may lead to food insecurity.

Earlier at the commencement of plenary, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, announced members of the ad hoc committee that will investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy regime on Nigeria from 2017 to 2021.

They include: Hon. Serguis Ogun (motion sponsor), Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Hon. Hassan Fulata, Hon. Olododo Cook, Hon. Stanley Adedeji and others.

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