As part of its recommendations to ensure effective remittance of ECOWAS Community Levy by member States, ECOWAS Parliament has resolved to do follow up to countries with arrears of its contributions and encourage others to improve on collection and remittance of the community levy, to the ECOWAS Commission.
The community level protocol which took effect in 2003, requires ECOWAS Member States to remit 0.5 % of import duties from thrid countries, (non ECOWAS members States) to ECOWAS Commission
to enable the regional body to effectively and efficiently finance its institutions and projects.
This formed part of the report of the seminar on the involvement of ECOWAS Members of Parliament in monitoring the implementation of the Protocol on the Community Levy, which was unanimously adopted in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Following the outcome of the three-day seminar, Members of the ECOWAS Parliament voted and adopted several recommendations aimed at improving and collecting arrears of contributions by Member States regarding the Community Levy.
Some of the recommendations include that members of ECOWAS Parliament who are nationals of Member States are to capitalise on the provision of the rules of procedure at the national level to engage the Ministries in charge of Community Levy to discuss not only recoveries, but also effective implementation of the said protocol.
The recommendation also tasked members in the area of raising awareness and advocacy in their respective States; and that national delegations should monitor the recovery of the products and actual disbursement of the amounts recovered in their countries and report to Parliament when country reports are presented at the next Session of ECOWAS Parliament.
Arising from the effects of COVID-19 , how they have impacted mobilisation rate negatively to about 30 percent over the past two years; the collection of revenue from the Community Levy and cognisant of the need to mobilise resources required to finance the Community Budget, Members of Parliament recognised the urgent need for each national delegation to be involved in the effective implementation relating to the Protocol.
Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Mohammed Sidie Tunis, in his closing remarks said that in light of hours of deliberations led by seasoned facilitators, “the benefits derived are enormous and that the seminar has achieved its objectives”, aimed at improving and collecting arrears of contributions from Member States regarding the Community Levy.
He said, the seminar was intended to give Members of ECOWAS Parliament a clear role relating to the monitoring and implementation of the dictates of the Protocol relevant to the Community Levy regarding the collection of 0.5 percent of import duty from third countries outside the subregion.
The Seminar was held ahead of the First Extra Ordinary Session of the Parliament scheduled to commence from March 29th to April 2nd, to consider and adopt its draft strategic plan for the fifth legislature.