By Lizzy Okoji
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has presented its 2022 Draft Budget of 393,612,400 Units of Account (UA) before the ECOWAS Parliament, in Abuja.
The budget is targeted at tackling, COVID-19 pandemic, security and infrastructure challenges, , promoting democracy and good governance in the sub-region.
The Commission made the budget presentation before the ECOWAS Parliament at the Legislature’s second ordinary session of 2021 holding in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Units of Account (UA) is the common currency used by ECOWAS institutions in its financial operations.
Mr Mohammed Ismaila, Chair of the ECOWAS Commission Administration and Finance Committee (AFC), while presenting the budget said it has been drafted to address the key areas of interventions in the sub-region.
Ismaila said that AFC also agreed for an increased budget for the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) to effectively handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The proposed 2022 draft budget is to the tune of 393,612,400 Units of Account.
“Seventy one per cent of the proposed budget is expected to be funded by contributions from external sources, while one 116,073,269 Units of Account will be funded from external sources.
“Given the current health situation of the world, the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) proposes a budget of over 59 million Units of Account, a 37.7 per cent increase in its 2021 budget.
“This was agreed on by the committee of AFC,” Ismaila said.
Ismaila in the presentation, however, noted that that many countries had defaulted in the regular payment of the levy, which is likely to have impacts in the 2022 budget.
He said that the AFC reports also revealed that in accordance with Article 10 of the Protocol on the deposit rate, only eight out of the fifteen member states of ECOWAS were depositing regularly.
He explained that this means other Member States are either not remitting or depositing their levies irregularly.
Speaker of the Parliament Sidie Mohammed Tunis, after the deliberations set up a 24 Member special Committee special on Administration Finance and Budget to consider the draft consolidated 2022 community budget.
Tunis urged them to be diligent in their efforts to enable the community have an effective budget.
NAN reports that the committee chaired by Senator Ali Ndume of Nigeria is expected to sit on Dec. 6 and present its report on Dec. 7. (NAN)