ECOWAS Parliament to Fund 99.92% of 2022 Budget with Community Levy

Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament on Tuesday announced that 99.92 per cent of its 2022 budget of more than 20 million Units of Account (UA), would be funded by the community levy.

ECOWAS Parliament administrators unveiled their draft budget for 2022 during their Second Extraordinary Session in Winneba, Ghana on Tuesday.

According to the parliament, 99.92 per cent of its budget (20,386,0009) will be funded by community levies, while the remaining 0.8% (UA 16,249) will be funded by other sources.

The parliament also said that the 2022 budget “is with zero per cent increase from its 2021 budget.”

It cited the current Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the political challenges in relation to Community Levy projections as reasons for not raising its budget for 2022.

“The projected revenue of parliament for the 2022 fiscal year, stands at UA 20,401,258.

“Out of this amount, the sum of UA 20,385,009, or 99.92 per cent, will be funded from community levy proceeds, while UA 16,249 or 0.8 per cent will come from other sources.

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“Out of this amount, the sum of UA 247,025 or one per cent is estimated for Governing Bodies, UA 6,926,460 or 34 per cent is estimated for Administrative expenses.

“UA 13,025,781 or 64 per cent is estimated for programmes and UA 201,993 or one per cent is estimated for contingency,” it said.

Dr Sidie Tunis, speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, told reporters it is possible that over 99 per cent of the budget will be funded by community levies given the fact that countries were cooperating in their payments.

“I know a lot of countries are now cooperating and it is absolutely possible to meet the 99.92 per cent funding of the budget from community levy.

“Even countries like Cape Verde which usually lags behind in payment (is cooperating).

“While I was here, I engaged them and they said immediately after their elections, they would have a conversation with the ECOWAS Commission so that they can start paying the levy,” Tunis said.

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On exhausting the 2021 budget which stands at 47 per cent of execution as of September, Tunis said the parliament would implement all programmes captured in the 2021 budget.

He attributed the pace at which the parliament’s programmes were being executed to the impact of the coronavirus.

He added that the lives of parliamentarians and staffers remained his priority.

“People have to understand that this is COVID-19 time, and because of COVID-19, there are restrictions on what we do and what we do not do.

“As a parliament, we know that meeting physically is the only way we can actually implement our programmes.

“We are trying our level best and you can see that up till September, we have already done 47 per cent in our budget performance.

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“But at the same time, we have to take into consideration that this is COVID-19 time, and the safety and health of members is very paramount to me.

“And I have to be very careful on how I place the timeline of COVID-19 in implementing our budget.

“But 2022, definitely, I am trying my level best to make sure we implement our programmes in full and carry out our oversight programmes,” Tunis said.

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