The Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS) has requested for the declaration of a State of Emergency on food security in the region
The Parliament at the end of its delocalized meeting convened at Guinea Bissau implored the ECOWAS Commission to meet member countries and announce food security as a national emergency. This, according to them, will help enhance political will by the governments to resolve the crisis.
A member of the committee and Member of Parliament (MP) from Nigeria, Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh, while reading the draft report of the meeting on behalf of the joint committee, stated that the meeting also suggested that the ECOWAS Commission should work with the Nigerian government to ensure that fertilizer manufacturing companies in Nigeria sell to needy countries in the region first before exporting in large quantities to other regions.
The parliamentarians, however, berate the cutting of trees for use as firewood and charcoal, emphasizing that it is greatly depleting forest resources.
“The cutting down of the trees to use as firewood and charcoal is greatly depleting our forest resources.
“Research and investment should be carried out to develop alternative sources of energy such as gas, solar and other biodegradable materials for use in domestic cooking and other household requirements.”
They called on regional, national and local authorities to join forces and collaborate to enforce by-laws to avert pollution of rivers and agricultural land through such activities as unlawful mining.
They also demanded member countries to develop and implement an information and education scheme for the people to be informed of combating climate change, stating that the government should engage and partner with civil society and parliamentarians in education and information dissemination.
The parliamentarians implored the ECOWAS Commission to work with governments to come up with an innovative scheme to mobilize funds to implement climate change initiatives that promote sustainable agricultural growth and production.
They also advised the national governments to mobilize funds to set up Agricultural Development Banks to provide loans and credits to farmers to invest in procuring land and purchasing inputs and machinery for modern and improved agriculture and farming.
They said that ECOWAS parliament should work with national parliaments towards the fulfillment of direct elections of MPs, charging MPs to ensure the allocation of 10 percent of the annual national budget to the agricultural sector.