Saraki made the appeal at the 2016 First Ordinary Session of theÂ parliament in Abuja on Monday.
â€œOther regional bodies including those who we inspired have movedÂ faster towards integration than we have.Â Sadly, this has been due to our inability to add to theÂ institutional building blocks and muster the courage to reorder ourÂ structures for the vision of a virile and integrated ECOWAS.
The ECOWAS Parliament remains a critical place to
start.Â We must, as a necessity, give the parliament
great authorisation andÂ capacity to duly legislate on
common areas and provide oversight on
certain issues of common interest and interdependency.Â For as long as we are unable to or fail to remit to this parliamentÂ more powers, the dreams of greater integration will continue to remain
This singular reason may be responsible for the lack of adequateÂ cohesion in the fight against terrorism, cross border crimes and theÂ implementation of agreed trade agreements and protocols,â€ he said.
He said that the parliament had come of age to legislate and provideÂ oversight on issues that would promote integration and enhance intra-African relations.
The Senate President emphasised that more progress was needed in theÂ areas of enforcement of ECOWAS regional trade agreements with enhancedÂ legislative powers of the parliament.
He also commended past efforts made by the parliament in its currentÂ capacity as an advisory body adding that citizens needed to understandÂ the ECOWAS mandate beyond free movement.
â€œAs we speak, the average citizen of ECOWAS is yet to feelÂ meaningfully, the impact of the ECOWAS union beyond free movement ofÂ persons and goods.Â This is another reason I believe the enhancement of the ECOWASÂ Parliament remit merits deliberations.â€
Saraki also said that there was need for the sub-regional bloc toÂ review protocols and treaties in order to â€œcreate a more virile unionÂ that can deal with the challenges of the 21st centuryâ€.
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha CissÃ© Lo, said thatÂ parliament would revise the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement ofÂ the Powers of the Parliament.
CissÃ© Lo, who spoke through an interpreter, said the idea was toÂ enable the parliament make necessary adjustments to the document to beÂ presented to the Authority of Heads of State.
He also said that the ongoing session would deliberate on the variousÂ committee reports and examine ongoing programmes of the parliament.
â€œThe other days will focus on country reports
that will contain theÂ political, economic and security
situation in the member states.Â The committees of the
parliament will meet as joint committees to
examine the programmes and decisions of the parliament.Â There is going to be a special day to examine the content of theÂ rules of procedure.
Our legal adviser will be in the position to explain to
everybody soÂ they know the contents of the rules of
procedure.Â The audit and finance committee will also
examine a document on the
2015 budget,â€ he said.
Photo Credit:Â twitter.com/bukolasaraki