ECOWAS Parliament, devt partners strengthen collaborations ahead of 2020

The ECOWAS Parliament has said that it is expecting commitments from its development partners by the end of 2017 to support its programmes for the next three years.

This formed the outcome of the parliament’s Donor Conference which ended on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was organised to bridge technical and financial gaps that hampered the effective implementation of the parliament’s programmes.

The programmes, which are in line with the ECOWAS Community Strategic Framework (2016 to 2020), are geared towards the achievement of regional integration and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary-General of the parliament, Mr Nelson Magbagbeola said the parliament had outlined priority areas the donors could offer support adding that bilateral meetings would further be held.

He also added that some donor partners had identified areas in which they could partner with the parliament while some others would review the strategic budget for ways to offer support.

“They have the strategic documents which is costed and they can look at areas that they think within the next three years, they can support the parliament.

“We are going to send the report on the outcome of this meeting to the donors for their comments, we finalise and follow up.

“We have already scheduled some bilateral meetings for next week so we can have something concrete.

“The commitments should be made before that end of this year because the programmes will begin next year, for three years.

“This is a four-year legislature, so till 2020, that is when the term of this legislature ends.”

Magbagbeola further explained that the disbursement of funds from development partners would be in line with the partners’ financial guidelines.

“We are not going cap-in-hand and when we ask for finances is to bridge the financing gap and if they bring something not in the interest of the community we will not accept.

“We follow the financial guidelines of ECOWAS and every development partner has its own financial guidelines.

“That of ECOWAS has to do with the Community Levy; they may be similar but we have to follow whatever donors tell us on how to disburse their funds.”

He also said that the outcome of the conference would be presented before the parliament at its 2017 Budget Session which begins on Nov. 21. (NAN)

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