Kalu calls for bigger economic partnerships, free movement across Africa

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has called for greater economic partnerships and cooperation amongst the 54 African countries, stressing that the artificial boundaries that impede the free movement of people and goods should be reduced.

The deputy speaker made the call, Thursday when he received the Speaker of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, Hon. Joseph Ntakirutimana who paid him a courtesy visit in the company of 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.

Kalu urged parliaments of various countries in Africa to review their laws impeding economic growth and the free movement of people.

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

He said: “If you’re part of the 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 country’s parliaments for a review of our various positions on this issue.

“I’m 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.

“The speaker of ECOWAS expressed in his speech the need to retool the ECOWAS parliament. We need to review the mechanism used so far by our nation’s interest in the parliament. We need to revisit that so that we can stimulate more interest and more motivation that will no longer stall the speed of the ECOWAS parliament, towards realizing the continental objective of setting up the ECOWAS parliament.

Edited by Damilola Adeleke

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