News Column

Nigerian Lawmakers Absent At Ecowas Parliament Parley

June 20, 2014

Onche Odeh

Nigerian lawmakers were conspicuously missing at a two-day meeting of parliamentarians from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which began in Lagos on Thursday.

The meeting was aimed at building the lawkers' capacity towards ensuring value for money allotted for development oriented projects.

The meeting, organised by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) with supports from other partners, had in attendance parliamentarians from all West African countries, except Senegal, as their lawmakers opted out so they could be part of the last minute build up to local elections scheduled for next week.

Daily Independent gathered that the Chairmen of the House of Representatives Committees on Health, Education and Finance had been invited to be part of the meeting alongside their counterparts from other West African countries.

Further investigations revealed that confirmations were received from the House of Representatives committee Chairmen on Health and Education.

In fact tickets were bought and sent to them to ensure they were in Lagos on time for the meeting.

It was, however, gathered that the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance did not confirm the invitation.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS has expressed worries that gains made by Africa in health, economy, poverty reduction and other areas could be reversed if the continent does not act fast to tame the incidence of crisis tied to unemployment for the youths.

It has also asked that member states to urgently promote resource accountability by ensuring value for money.

Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament, Cheikh Dansoko, who addressed the parliamentarians on Thursday in Lagos, noted that Africa has done well to attain the status of the world's second fastest-growing continent, accelerating its regional economy with significant improvements in its Human Development Indicators.

Dansoko, who was represented by the Commission's Principal Administration Officer, Amuta Onogwu, said: "As you all know, 13 of the 20 top performers for accelerating progress on MDG indicators are also in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Between 1990 and 2005, most countries have achieved universal primary education enrolment rates of 90 per cent or higher, the womenfolk across the continent are becoming more empowered.

"The under-five mortality rate declined 47 per cent between1990 and 2011, while maternal mortality fell 42 per cent in 1990-2010," he siad.

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Source: AllAfrica

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