December 1, 2022

The ECOWAS Parliament at its plenary on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 during the ongoing 2022 Second Ordinary Session of the Parliament holding in Abuja from 24 Nov – December 18, 2022, adopted the report and recommendations for the ECOWAS Commission’s consolidated budget of UA418, 072,408 for 2023.

Presided by the Honourable Speaker, Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, the Parliament also mandated the Speaker to convey the favourable opinion on the ECOWAS Commission’s Adhoc Committee report and recommendation to the Chairman of the Council of the Heads of State for consideration.

It would be recalled that the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) of the ECOWAS Commission has earlier presented for the Parliament’s consideration a draft budget of Four Hundred and Twenty-Seven Million Unit of Account (UA 427,979,594) for 2023.

The Chairperson of the AFC, Cristina Pedreira who made the Presentation before Members of the Parliament’, said that the Committee came up with the draft budget and recommendations sequel to the 32nd Meeting of the AFC which held from November 14 – 21, 2022.

Meanwhile, the AFC report indicated a general appeal to member states to comply with the provisions of the ECOWAS Community Levy protocol to avoid imposition of the stipulated sanctions.
This elicited contributions at plenary by Parliamentarians who decried the lukewarm attitude of some member states with regard to non-payment by certain member states of community levies.

These taxes, it should be remembered, constitute between 70 and 90% of the Community budget and are levied by each Member State through a mechanism known as the “community levy” which is at a rate of 0. 5% imposed on goods from non-ECOWAS member states.

The parliamentarians denounced the attitude of certain countries which have not made any repayments since the beginning of this year 2022. They rose up against this state of affairs, considering that the States up to date with their contributions cannot, out of simple convenience, continue to pay instead of others.

Parliamentarians were surprised that Member States such as Burkina-Faso and Guinea are up to date with their dues while these countries are experiencing a military-political crisis that is disrupting their economies. On the other hand, they argue, countries that enjoy political and institutional stability are unable to honor their commitments to the community by paying back the community taxes that have been levied.

The parliamentarians then demanded that parliament deal with this situation urgently so that it does not happen again next year.

On this issue, Cape Verdean parliamentarians called on the parliament to use the mechanisms at its disposal to find a way out of this worrying situation.