Kalu Calls For Greater Economic Partnerships Among African Countries

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has called for greater economic partnerships and co-operation amongst the 54 Africa countries, stressing that the artificial boundaries that obstruct free movement should be removed.

Kalu made the call when he received the Speaker of East Africa Legislative Assembly, Hon. Joseph Ntakirutimana who paid him a courtesy visit in his office yesterday.

Ntakirutimana was accompanied by the Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis and a member of Tanzania parliament, Hon. Hon. Mlozi Shogo Richard.

The Nigerian Deputy Speaker urged parliaments of various countries in Africa to review their laws impeding economic growth and free movement of people.

He also condemned the xenophobic attacks in some parts of Africa, saying that it stalls unity and progress.

Kalu said: “If you’re part of African Union, why the boundaries, why the restrictions? The restrictions have underdeveloped the continent more than it has lifted it to measure shoulder to shoulder among the committee of continents. These we must take seriously and this message we must take to all our countries parliaments for a review of our various positions on this issue.

“I am happy to announce that the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been made chairman of ECOWAS, we will give all the support that’s expected to make him succeed in his tenure as the Chairman of ECOWAS and that includes the parliament.

“We are all one people and we must take steps to reinforce that unity. With unity, we can deal with present challenges which manifest in transnational violence, coup threats in some sub-Saharan African countries, slowing economic growth, climate change, and human trafficking especially in Sahelian Africa. We must not allow this to fester in the near future.”

Kalu also said the Nigerian House of Representatives will support the candidacy of Dr. Tulia Ackson for the President of Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), asking to make her manifesto known to lawmakers.

Earlier, the speaker of ECOWAS parliament, Hon. Tunis emphasized the need for Africa’s integration and hailed Nigeria for her contributions to ECOWAS.

“Nigeria is the country that is leading the region. Like I told the Speaker of EALA in my office today, Nigeria in ECOWAS is like United States in UN. The bulk of our budgetary support comes from Nigeria. That’s why we don’t allow them to even get upset. When they get upset, we will begin to catch cold,” he said.

In her remarks earlier, the member of Tanzania parliament, Hon. Richard appealed to Nigerian parliament to support Ackson for IPU presidency.

“I’m very honoured to be here today with my colleagues, to campaign for Dr. Tulia Ackson who is contesting for the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“Dr. Tulia Ackson is a Member of the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania. She joined the National Assembly in the year 2015, and since then, she has been attending series of meetings in IPU and she has had the opportunity to understand the vision and mission of the IPU. She as well understands the role of IPU in the World” she said.


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