July 27, 2020

Member of Parliament for Anlo Clement Kofi Humado one of Ghana’s representatives to the fifth Community Parliament is advocating for the sub-regional body to think outside the box and look for other options of raising funds instead of heavily relying on the Community levy.

This follows delays in the payment of ECOWAS levy coupled with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic affecting volumes of imports with the West African sub-region.

At the just ended Second Extra Ordinary meeting held virtually via Zoom, the issue of delay in payment came up strongly, and Speaker Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis expressed worry and called for effort to ensure that delayed levies are paid up, since it’s the source of fuel in running the Community institutions.

Mr. Humado in an interview noted that it is true that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought issues of payment of the Community levy going into the future as the levy is calculated at zero point five percent of import duties for all sub-regional states.

According to him, even without coronavirus, “if we increase trade among ourselves and the production and exchange within West Africa also increase, imports would decrease in the future, it would still have the same effect; it is about time we think outside the box”.

Mr. Humado is pushing for looking at a different kind of levy that can be put on some other thing which is common to all the fifteen sub-regional member countries which is sustainable and further increase it for the use of development of the ECOWAS sub-region.

“I mean development governance of the sub-region and I think it is necessary as call for the restoration of the levies is not enough”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com