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ECOWAS Nigeria pays $54m for 2015 levy

A sum of $54m has been paid by the Nigerian government as part of its obligation to ECOWAS for 2015.

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President Buhari with ECOWAS presidents play

President Buhari with ECOWAS presidents

(Nationonline)

ECOWAS said Nigeria paid 54 million dollars as part of its obligation to the Community Levy for 2015 to implement programmes and projects in the sub-region.

Mr Allieu Sesay, ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, said this at the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Tuesday.

Sesay was responding to questions from parliamentarians following the presentation of the Community Status Report by the Commission’s President, Mr Marcel de Souza.

The commissioner said that member states had begun to fulfill their financial obligations following consistent persuasion and enlightenment of governments by the commission.

“A good number of states were not paying prior to 2016; we had some challenges in terms of members complying with some of our obligations but we were eventually able to persuade through consistent engagement.

“Luckily for us, the Nigerian government paid community levy for 2015 to the tune of about 54 million dollars and we are very grateful for that.

“Other member states, as well have been honouring their obligations with respect to the community levy and that has been able to provide the wherewithal for community institutions to implement projects and programmes for 2016.

“For now, we have collected 185 million dollars as at September 2016 for the first three quarters of the year, talking about Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2016,” he said.

He said that some member countries still owed some arrears dating to 2003 but, however, added that they had shown commitment to comply with the payment.

He said that Memoranda of Understanding had been signed with such countries to pay over a period of time.

“There are arrears dating back to 2003, the amount is quite significant.

“They have shown commitment to pay and we have signed a number of MoUs with them.

“They have to have a payment plan for the settlement of these arrears and some countries have pledged to pay over a three-year period.

“Others, because of the magnitude of the arrears, they agreed to pay within four years and we hope they live up to their commitments.”

He added that member countries had paid about 60 per cent of what was budgeted for, for the first three quarters of the year.

He further said that 113.8 million dollars had so far been disbursed to community institutions.

“We are optimistic that they will honour the obligations and we will be able to collect at least 70 per cent of what we projected for 2016; that is a little over 280 million dollars,” he said.

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