The ECOWAS Parliament is currently holding a meeting to deliberate on ways of increasing the recovery rate of its Community Levy. This will ensure adequate collection of resources, which is necessary for financing the activities of the community.
The Community Levy is a mechanism put in place by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government; intended to mobilize funds necessary for the accomplishment of ECOWAS missions. It has been operational since 2003. This levy is 0.5%, imposed on goods from non-ECOWAS member states. The funds from this Community Levy are intended to cover between 70 and 90% of the community’s budgetary revenues.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing low mobilization of these resources. Over the past three years, mobilization was around 30% of forecasts”Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament – Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Parliament acknowledged that the difficulty of recovery threatens the implementation of community projects and programs. As such, Hon. Tunis invited community parliamentarians to make relevant and innovative proposals in the House. This, he noted, will help them make a significant contribution to solving the problem.
Official commencement of ECOWAS Seminar in 2021
The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commenced its 1st seminar of the year on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The seminar is taking place in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The theme is ‘Involvement of ECOWAS Parliamentarians in the monitoring of the implementation of the protocol on the Community Levy’.
The Speaker of Parliament of Sierra Leone, Abass Chernor Bundu, presided over the opening ceremony of the seminar which will end on March 25. Also, The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis was also in attendance at the opening ceremony. Hon. Bundu opened the meeting in the presence of the ECOWAS Parliamentarians.
Distinguished guests included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Finance as well as Planning and Economic Development. These ministers are all from Sierra Leone, as well as the Commissioner for Finance at the ECOWAS Commission.
Acknowledging frontline health workers
The Freetown meeting comes at a time when the West African region and the rest of the world are still facing the persistence of COVID-19. The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament took the opportunity to commend researchers, scientists, and health personnel. He commended them for “their tireless and continuous efforts to provide an appropriate response to the problems of our time”. He also encouraged the population to get massively vaccinated to stop the spread of the pandemic.
Also, Speaker of Sierra Leone Parliament, Abass Chernor Bundu, for his part, insisted on the tremendous integration tool that ECOWAS represents. An institution that he knows well for having been its executive secretary from 1989 to 1993. As such, he was at the heart of the reflections that led to the adoption of the revised Treaty in 1993.
Moreover, Hon. Bundu invited the community parliamentarians to use their position with the States to increase the rate of collection of the Community Levy. This is because the levy remains the driving force behind the implementation of ECOWAS activities. Several presentations related to the theme of the seminar will be done during the three-day meeting.