Abuja - The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, has appealed for more funding from Member States to enable it effectively carry out its duties.
“I urge all Member States to consistently implement the Community Levy Protocol and Mechanisms in order to provide the community with the necessary funds to meet its financial obligations,” he appealed at the ECOWAS Administration and Finance (AFC) Committee meeting in Abuja.
Presently, levies of 0.5 percent tax imposed on goods from non-ECOWAS Member States is used to finance the programmes and activities of the ECOWAS Commission and other Community institutions.
However, recently, the implementation of the community levy regime has been faced with challenges mainly related to the interpretation of the goods covered by the levy.
Ouedraogo urged ECOWAS members to consider the issue during the 2014 draft budget, which is one of issues on the agenda of the weeklong ECOWAS meeting.
He assured that the distractive and resource consuming crises suffered by the region will not affect the focus of the Commission and the other Community institutions in delivering on their core integration objectives and meeting the yearnings of citizens through strict implementation of the decisions of regional leaders.
The ECOWAS leader informed the meeting that the European Union planned to double its allocation to regional integration programmes for West Africa under its 11th European Development Fund, in recognition of the growing importance of regional integration and the credibility of the ECOWAS Commission.
The President assured of sound stewardship and prudent utilization of the EU funds which will augment the estimated income from external sources in the Community’s 2014 budget.
Chairman of the AFC, Minourou Silla, meanwhile, commended members of the Committee for attaching the greatest importance to the Community budgetary process and urged them to maintain their candour and dispassionate disposition in considering the 2014 budget.
– CAJ News