July 23, 2020

After a presentation made by  the  Commissioner of Finance at the opening of the virtual meeting of the  Second Extra Ordinary Session to the Community Parliament, a   representative of Ghana at the  Parliament, Clement Kofi Humado has said it is now clear countries that are lagging behind in paying the Community Levy.

According to him, it is clear that most of the West African sub-regional countries are not adhering to the protocol procedure of collecting the levies and sending them to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) account in their respective central banks.

He indicated the need to interrogate the issue at the Committee level and the Plenary and what he had heard from the Finance Commissioner the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the volume of imports in various countries and by extension affected the Community levy.

Mr. Humado in an interview pointed out that the extent to which the coronavirus has affected levies of countries did not come out clearly and added that at the plenary when the referrals from the Commission is being taken justice would be done to the referrals.

He urged lawmakers in the sub-region in their various national parliament to make statements drawing the attention of their governments and finance ministers to respond to their performance of the ECOWAS levy.

“I am happy Ghana is doing very well along side Ivory Coast. We are meeting most of our targets, I think the problem is with other smaller countries in the Sahel COVID-19 is affecting their imports. And their economies are not strong because of the adverse security situation they spend more on security hence the inability to remit proper amount of their ECOWAS levy”.

On the inability of Nigeria to meet its target, he noted that it is a bit confusing. “I think the levy has been collected but being stored in a certain Central Account that is not being released to the ECOWAS Commission. I do not understand why it is so, we should be able to deal with that when we come to the plenary”.

Mr. Kofi Humado commended the way the virtual meeting started despite few challenges and considering that the opening was the first time and looking at the number that participated including lawmakers, journalists and staff, and was very much impressed.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com