Second ECOWAS Extraordinary Virtual Parliamentary Session Begins

552

By Abdul Malik Bangura

The ECOWAS Parliament has joined the league of Community institutions to deploy the use of technology in conducting its sessions and meetings, as the Second Extraordinary Session commenced on Monday, 20th July, 2020, using the Zoom virtual platform.

Following guidelines on the COVID-19 protocols for ECOWAS institutions, issued by the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the Bureau of Parliament is scheduled to hold a five-day virtual Extra-Ordinary session to consider some referrals from Community institutions on germane issues that border on the wellbeing of the people of the sub-region, in line with the provisions of the Supplementary Act relating to the Enhancement of the Powers of the Parliament.

Notable among the referrals are: Request by the President of the ECOWAS Commission seeking assistance from the Parliament in implementing the ECOWAS protocol on the community levy.
That Parliament takes decision relating to the contribution of ECOWAS Member States to the African Union Solidarity Fund in the fight against COVID-19 and referral from the ECOWAS Commission on the fight against COVID-19, the stabilization and recovery of the economies of ECOWAS Member States.

This virtual Extra-Ordinary session heralds an era of a new normal, occasioned by the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, Parliament’s administration has concluded all technical and manpower arrangements to ensure a seamless session.

The virtual session is an innovation that is yet to be ventured into by many national and supra- national Parliaments around the world, an indication of the level of importance the ECOWAS Parliament arrogates to its duties and responsibilities towards the Community’s Citizens, preferring that its work is not stalled regardless of the ravaging pandemic.

Preceding the opening of the Extra-Ordinary session was the Conference of Committees Bureaux, statutorily composed of the Bureau, Chairman and 1st Rapporteurs of the 14 Standing Committees as well as Chairmen of Parliamentary Groups, with the mandate of considering and adopting the Draft Agenda and Work Program of the session, legitimizing those documents to be considered and adopted by the Plenary. The meeting is usually convened and chaired by the Speaker of Parliament.

The virtual Extra-Ordinary Session is scheduled to end on Friday, 25 July, 2020.

The 21– 25 July 2020 PRELIMINARY DRAFT WORK PROGRAMME is as follows:

Day 1: Tuesday 21 July 2020 Morning 10: 00 am -10: 05 am:

Minute of silence for prayer or meditation 10: 05 am – 10: 15 am:

Roll call of Honourable Members 10: 15 am – 10: 30 am:

Swearing-in of new Members 10: 30 am – 11: 00 am:

Address by the Honourable Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament 11: 00 am -11: 30 am:

Goodwill message by the President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice 11:30 – 12:00:

Briefing on the status of the Community Levy, by the Commissioner of Finance Briefing on the evolution of the COVID 19 pandemic in the ECOWAS Community by the Director General of WAHO12: 00 am -12: 10 pm:

Consideration and adoption of the draft agenda and draft Work Programme of the first 2020 Extraordinary Session; 12: 10 pm -12: 30 pm:

Consideration and adoption of the draft report of the inaugural session of the Fifth Legislature of Parliament; 12: 30 am -12: 45 am:

Consideration and adoption of the draft Work Programme of Standing, Joint and Ad Hoc Committees; 12: 45 pm -1: 00 pm:

Consideration and adoption of the draft Plan of Activities of Parliament for the second half of 2020 1: 00 pm -2: 00 pm: Break 2: 00 pm – 4: 00 pm:

Committee sittings Afternoon 4: 00 pm – 5: 30 pm: Committee sittings (Cont) 5: 30 pm: Adjournment Day 2: Wednesday 22 July 2020 Morning 9: 30 am – 1: 00 pm

Committee sittings 1 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch break Afternoon 2: 30 pm – 5: 30 pm Committee sittings (Cont) 5: 30 pm

Adjournment Free slot Day 3: Thursday 23 July 2020 Morning 9: 30 am – 1: 00 pm Committee sittings 1 pm – 2:30 pm

Lunch break Afternoon 2: 30 pm – 5: 30 pm

Committee sittings (Cont) 5: 30 pm Adjournment

Day 4: Friday 24 July 2020 Morning 9: 30 am – 1: 00 pm

Committee sittings 1 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch break Afternoon 2: 30 pm – 5: 30 pm Committee sittings (Cont) 5: 30 pm

Adjournment Day 5: Saturday 25 July 2020 Morning 9: 30 am – 1: 00 pm

In terms of presentation and adoption in Plenary of the report of the sittings of Standing, Joint and Ad Hoc Committees it was stated that consideration of the request must be done by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, seeking assistance from the Parliament in implementing the ECOWAS Protocol on the Community Levy. It must be done at 1: 00 pm – 1:30 pm before any other business is discussed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here