December 9, 2021

Newly elected executives and members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Female Parliamentary Association (ECOFEPA) on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 paid a courtesy call on   Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President of the Senate, Chairman National Assembly Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Senators and the Ahmed Iddris Deputy Speaker House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Presenting the delegation, Senator Biodun Christine Olujimi (Nigeria) 1st Vice President-elect ECOFEPA and facilitator of the visit said that ECOFEPA went to pay a courtesy call on the Senate President despite the impromptu nature noting that they held their election the day before and the old Executives stepped out and a new one is to take over.

“We thought it fit to come to the National Assembly to see the owners of this country and especially our Parliament and of course, the Presiding Officer in the person of the Senate President, Sen. Dr. Lawan, and that is why we are here today,” she explained, adding that currently, only two women are representing Nigeria in the ECOWAS Parliament.

Madam Memunatu Ibrahima (Togo), Third Deputy Speaker ECOWAS Parliament in her presentation to the Senate President and Senators said that they were happy to inform the President and Senators that they are just coming out of a successful ECOFEPA election and that she was happy to note that the meeting was the first high-level engagement they have had while   appreciating the Senate President and Senators for agreeing to see them.

In addition, madam   Ibrahima said although the First elected President was unavoidably absent, the Bureau is excited and looking forward to the prospects of the new leadership that has been elected noting that it is of great advantage to the Bureau to have a Nigerian in the person of Sen. Olujimi. She said this means that Nigeria with its size, population, and importance in the sub-region and the continent is of great moment.

And with Senator Olujimi at the helm of affairs as 1st Vice President-elect in her new position, they believe “that it is going to take us to new heights.”


Their first project is an ambitious one – they look forward to hosting a grand conference of female Parliamentarians within ECOWAS to see how we can explore ways for the development of women and corporation within Parliamentarians.

 She explained, adding that, certainly their next project would be to try to monitor and support female representation within Parliaments within the ECOWAS sub-region and above all for Nigeria,

“We are looking forward to seeing how we can encourage the participation and inclusion of more female parliamentarians within the National Assembly”.

Mrs Ibrahima noted that, thirdly, they would   also like to embark on projects that protect the girl child to be able to monitor them and track their progress to adulthood. “With that, we look to the Senate for support on all these three projects which we look forward to leaning on the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be heavily involved in these projects.”

She concluded by registering that the ECOWAS Commission has budgeted for all these projects; but noted that they look towards the Senate President to see how they would be able to render more support towards the realization of these projects.

She once more thanked the Senate President for receiving the ECOFEPA on a very short notice whilst anticipating a cordial working relationship in the pursuit of their aims and objectives.

In response, the Senate President Sen. Dr. Lawan on behalf of all the Senators welcomed the ECOFEPA delegation to the Senate of the National Assembly expressing that he was very pleased to have them.

Sen. Dr. Lawan said:  “I am very happy to receive you with my colleagues. I should congratulate you for the elections,” adding that he knows that Sen. Olujimi was also elected among the member of the new Bureau.

The Senate President said “this is a very good development for Nigeria and I want to congratulate the ECOWAS Parliamentarians for electing Sen. Olujimi, one of our very distinguished Senators. We are still trying to see if she remains fully and legislature because she moves in and then out.  She was here in the House of Representatives in 2003, then later became a Deputy Governor and now, she wants the whole and real thing but, whatever it would be, we pray for her and wish her the best of luck in whatever endeavor she chooses. But one clear thing is that the Nigeria Legislature needs people like her because she has the experience and given the kind of numbers, a very discourage a number of women in the Nigerian Parliament  or National Assembly, I believe we have to have more and more like her.”

He recalled serving also with Hon. Linda in the House of Representatives in 1999 adding that she also has a wealth of experience   which should be harnessed to have more women in the Nigeria National Assembly.

Sen. Dr. Lawan said that at the moment, Nigeria is reviewing its 1999 national constitution, noting that, “I know that there are some efforts that provide for more women’s representation. We hope that by the time the constitutional review is concluded, they would have provided a platform for more women to be at the National Assembly”.