By Favour Egbuta, Amadin Uyi
A member of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Parliament, Sierra Leone, Honourable Veronica Sesay, has faulted the approval of the Article 2 of the Community Audit Report, at the ongoing delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament, in Lome,Togo.
Honourable Sesay made the observation while contributing to the presentation on “Modalitities for the Practical Implementation of Article 9 and 11 of the Supplementary Act Relating to the ECOWAS Parliament, on the Consideration of Community Audit Reports” by Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Professor Ibrahim Salami.
The presentation was made before the Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Bidi Nouhoume.
Honourable Sesay also pointed out challenges facing the Parliament and the Executive.
“There has been this conflict between the Parliament and the Executive. There has been a struggle for power for rules and responsibilities.
You have stated the importance of Parliament.
I think Parliaments are there, not be rubber-stamped, we are here as the people’s representatives and to go into the nitty gritty of whatever is being said or being done as a Parliament”, she said.
“To connect this article 2 to the report, as the report that you have made, were approved.
I think yesterday we were just here to listen and to applaud because the presentation made was comprehensive and very detailed.
But I was thinking, to present us with the approvals we should have been given the chance to do our own inputs equally but it has already been approved before presenting it to the Committee”
“For parliament to be efficient and effective it must be given an open hand.
And also you mentioned that this School is very useful, I learnt a lot from your presentation, I think we’re going to work on that.
Parliament should have to cooperate and to len support to whatever decision we’re goin to make in these presentations. Also, Article 34 as you stated, is there”, she said.
She also sought from Professor Salami, how he could synchronize as a Professor, so that the Parliament, the Commission, and the Executive would be given the same opportunity, to enable them have pronounced and proactive Parliaments, instead of listening to presentations and at the end, give applause.
“So, I just want to know how you can bring us together so that we can really know the chance and responsibilities, what is the role of an MP, what are they expecting of us, and what are the the Commission or whoever is representing, their rules and responsibilities? we want to become very competent and proactive Parliament, because we’re here from different Parliament to represent our people” she added.
While responding, Professor Salami, said that for an effective reviewing of Annual Audit Report, the Public Accounts and Audit Committee, should seek independent expertise where necessary, as action needs to be taken promptly, and also to promote accountability .
In her contribution, the Director of Administration and Finance, ECOWAS Parliament, Mrs, Anna Jagne, said, they need
to set up a small Committee that would look at the modalities for presentation of audit reports, suggesting that, ether they use the same modalities used for the Budget, and look at the timing for easy wrap up.
On his part, Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Bida Nouhoume, said the democratic and institutional struggle in the ECOWAS member States have taken a long time of five to ten years.
“So it takes a long time for us to have the same understanding of the the subject matter proposed to me, on the practical implementation of modalities of the Article 9 and 11 of the Supplementary Act relating to the ECOWAS Parliament”
He added that the ECOWAS Parliament is much concerned about the modalities and the practicability of the process towards the implementation and effectively carrying out their duties.