The Community Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee is in Lome, the capital of the Republic of Togo to examine the budget of the parliament for next year 2023; they would look at personnel services, goods and materials.
The Secretary General, John Azumah who is the Administrative head of the Community, and his team would come out with a draft budget which the Ad Hoc Committee would look into line by line.
The meeting started, Wednesday, September 21, 2022 and would last until Sunday, September 25, 2022.
In a telephone interview with chairman of the Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr. who is a member of the Ad Hoc Committee noted that as part of their work areas, if the Committee deems it fit to increase the budget, it would be done, and if it needs cutting down, it would be done.
“Before the process starts, the ECOWAS Commission puts forward a ceiling to us, so we have a budget circular that would tell you this year the parliament budget is say for example twenty-two million dollars, then we work within the stated amount”.
He further pointed out that, the Committee would decide on the priority areas of the stated amount, then the Committee reports that budget funding to the Extraordinary Session. “This session is referred to as the budget session of the parliament and that would be done at the upcoming session in this case in Togo, then the plenary would approve the budget.
He added that, that budget goes to the Commission and sent to the AFC, the Admin and Finance Committee, where the parliament is also represented; and that would be voted at the level of the AFC.
When it is done, it goes into the consolidate account budget of the Community, “where you now have all Community institutions budget coming together, and goes to the AFC. “When they are done with their budget then the budget in its totality comes back to the Parliament, at that time the Parliament budget and that of other ECOWAS Institutions like the West Africa Health organisation ( WAHO), the Commission all of that comes back to the Parliament for the Parliament to run its opinion”.
The Parliament would invite the AFC different Commissioners to defend their budget, thereafter it goes to the Council of Ministers; when they pass, it goes to the Authority of Heads of States where the presidents meet, and when approved it becomes a working instrument for the community.
“So it is a long process, but the most significant with regards to the parliament is this Committee that formulates the budget for the ECOWAS Parliament and its operations as you may know there are three major elections next year, 2023 that of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone . In my case, it has to do with Political Affairs Peace and Security, so I am here to defend that component of the budget to ensure that the right programmes are put in place, the necessary security concerns are addressed to the budget for its implementation during 2023 programme”, he said in an interview.