By G9ija

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has presented its 2022 draft budget with mechanisms to ensure peace and security, good governance and economic development as priority.

The draft budget of the Parliament was presented during its Second Extraordinary Session to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft 2022 budget, on Monday in Winneba, Ghana.

Dr Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, said that the budget seeks to make provisions to address the fundamental challenges confronting the region.

“As you well know, the specific agenda of this Session is to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft Budget for the year 2022.

“I wish to remind us, Honourable Members, that of significant importance to our efforts in addressing the monumental challenges at hand, is the fact that our region requires fundamental changes in every area.

“From civil liberties, the rule of law, accountability and transparent governance, peace and security, as well as economic development.

“That is why the draft estimates that will be presented place emphasis on supporting programmes that address these core areas.

“In line with the guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget for all ECOWAS Institutions, we have focused our priorities on high impact programmes that have long-lasting effects on the ECOWAS Member States.

“Taking into accounting the shocks that have been created because of the COVID-19 pandemic and prevailing security challenges.

“Also, in line with the institutional reforms which are currently being undertaken by ECOWAS, we were very mindful of cost saving measures which are intended to direct resources to other sectors of the Community, notably the health sector.

“By this, we are glad to note that the Secretary-General and his team of Technocrats, have successfully prepared a draft 2022 budget for the Parliament.

“The draft contains a zero percent increase in relation to the 2021 budget, as directed in the budget circular issued by the President of the ECOWAS Commission,” Tunis said.

Mr Alban Bagbin,  Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, called on members to work towards promoting democracy, good governance, peace and stability in the sub-region.

Bagbib, who was represented by Mr Joseph Osie Owsu, First Deputy Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, said that ECOWAS is one of the most successful Regional Economic Communities.

He urged members to continue to address poverty in all its ramifications and create job opportunities for the people.

Babgin commended Tunis and the leadership of the Fifth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament for the zeal towards the attainment of the goals and objectives of the Parliament.

“We must also look for the best way to promote integration in the sub-region.

“I therefore urge you to execute your work in the interest of the people and for the purpose of advancing the progress of the community.

“Let me use this opportunity to entreat you to work assiduously towards promoting democracy, good governance, peace and stability in the sub-region,” Babgin said.

He said that the deployment of new technology in elections such as the biometric Verification Devices and Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) have enhanced the processes of conducting elections.

This, he explained, have reduced electoral malpractices like multiple registration and voting.