By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The National Assembly and the Executive arm are partnering to review treaties and conventions entered into by Nigeria, says Bamikole Omishore, a Special Assistant to the President of the Senate.
Omishore who is Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and International Relations disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that Nigeria entered into several conventions decades ago and it had become necessary that the treaties be reviewed to ensure that Nigeria was getting the best out of such partnerships.
With reference to illicit financial flows from Nigeria which is sometimes tied to vague clauses in some of the treaties, Omishore said that the aim of the review was to domesticate such treaties to serve Nigeria’s interest first.
He recalled that the Presidency in 2017 also alluded to its plans to take a second look at conventions and trade partnerships entered into by Nigeria.
“Nigeria has different treaties and partnerships that we’ve signed with different countries.
“We are now going through all those treaties to see how we can domesticate them in Nigeria to make sure that Nigeria is getting the best from every agreement that is signed by different countries.
“The executive is taking a lead, ours in the 8th Senate is to make sure we provide the legislative framework and the appropriate oversight to make sure the interest of Nigeria is protected at all times.
“I remember the executive made mention towards the end of last year that they would be reviewing different treaties because as you rightly said, times are improving and changing.
“The executive is taking a look at it but at the national assembly’s leadership is also looking to see if some of those things favour us or not.
“You also mentioned the illicit financial flows that’s going on, that’s definitely being looked at as well.
“The 8th National Assembly is looking to make sure that the illicit transactions are stopped but at the same time, create an environment for businesses to be done with ease.
“Over the last few months, you might have noticed the bills on ease of doing business and also the bill on NFIU in Senate, those are part of a wide range of legislative interventions to make sure Nigeria conforms with international best practices,” he said.
Speaking on his role as an assistant on foreign relations, Omishore said that his mandate is to assist the President of the Senate in building stronger relationships with the international community and foreign missions from a parliamentary standpoint.
He stressed that the focus will begin from Africa as it is currently more difficult to do business with fellow African countries that it is to trade with Europe and America.
Omishore stressed that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly has the anomaly on its front burner and will do all it can to address it.
“National Assembly leadership is already looking at how to use Parliamentary oversight to strength relationship with African countries.
“As it stands now, it is easier to travel and do business In EU and US than it is to do business with our brothers in Ghana.
“The President of the Senate will be addressing the Ghanaian parliament next Monday and these are some of the things that will come up,” he said.