Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said that Nigeria was in support of the calls for an electoral arrangement that will provide direct election for representations at the West African regional parliament.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Ola Awoniyi, Lawan’s Special Adviser on Media.
Lawan made the call when he hosted Seini Oumarou, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Niger, in Abuja.
“We are in support of creating an ECOWAS Parliament that has members that will be directly elected into the parliament so that the ordinary people will have a complete attachment with those that represent them in ECOWAS Parliament.”
Lawan said the current arrangement, in which parliament from each member-country sends representations, was working.
“But we hope that there will be an improvement over the arrangement to ensure that the ECOWAS sub-region is in such a manner and form that our Parliament, when it sits, will be giving us resolutions that will be useful in every part of the ECOWAS countries.”
The Senate President, who told his guest that the ECOWAS Parliament was truly representatives of the people in the sub-region, urged other parliaments in the sub-region to continually support the ECOWAS Parliament to perform its functions.
Lawan said Nigeria and Niger had a very long history of relations which dated back to pre-independence period adding that the peoples in the two countries share many things in common.
“A formal relationship was established in 1960 and we cherish this very good relation.
“The affinity between our two countries is very deep and we really cherish that. We take it very seriously that we will continue to be good neighbours,” Lawan said.
The Senate President also spoke on the bilateral cooperation and some key projects like the rail project initiated to facilitate trade and economic activities between the two countries.
Lawan also expressed his appreciation on the effort, cooperation and support of the Republic of Niger on the multilateral relations such as the involvement in the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight insurgency in the Lake Chad Region,
“We believe that together we can finish the insurgency in our region. We should continue to be determined that this war with insurgents is something our countries can win and that we will continue to support each other,” he said.
Earlier, the visiting Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Niger said he and his delegation were on a courtesy visit to the National Assembly.
He said that it was imperative to explore the good relationship between Nigeria and Niger to the betterment of the two peoples, (NAN)