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Six states yet to ratify ECOWAS protocol on corruption

As the ECOWAS Joint Mission meeting comes to an end, the ECOWAS Parliament has pointed out that six member-states are yet to ratify the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption.

This was disclosed on Friday at the end of the Delocalised meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and APRM, Gender, Women Empowerment, Social Protection, Legal and Judicial Affairs in Ouagadougou.

According to the report presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Padumhekou Tchao, Senegal, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde are yet to ratify, asking them to do so to fast track the process.

He said that if they ratify the protocol, it would pave way for the setting up of the Technical Anti-corruption Committee to monitor its implementation, especially through the production of a periodic report on the state of corruption in West Africa.

“Even though Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin have institutions and legislations for implementing the protocol, that doesn’t mean that other countries are not making efforts to do so.

“ECOWAS Joint Mission recommends to member-states which have not yet ratified the protocol, to sensitise the authorities on the need to fast track the ratification process and take the necessary measures for the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Technical Commission.

“The Parliament and ECOWAS Commission should hold an Annual Forum of Civil Society Organisations, dedicated to the fight against corruption in member-states; this forum will allow for sharing of experiences and ownership of state of the fight against corruption in the region.

“Capacity building by the ECOWAS Commission including through community grants of national institutions in charge of the fight and adoption of a supplementary act on standard measures to safeguard the effective independence of the institution.”

“However, one of the adoptions made by the joint committee was that there is no specific role that the community parliament can play in the fight against corruption, noting that no provision has been made in the ECOWAS Protocol to that effect.

“This gap needs to be corrected through a subsequent amendment of the protocol in order to involve Parliament in the fight against corruption,” Tchao said.

In his closing remarks, The Speaker of ECOWAS Paliament, Moustapha Cisse-Lo called on all member-states yet to ratify the protocol to do so to enable the enforcement of the protocol.

He said that the issue of 30 per cent women representation would be taken seriously from the fifth legislature, urging all member-states to comply.

Cisse-Lo, however, appreciated the delegation from Burkina Faso for hosting the team and all parliamentarians for their contributions and recommendations at the meeting. (NAN)

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