29.5% External Funding to 2022 Draft Consolidated Community Budget is Not for Nothing - Hon. Ayariga - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Monday, December 6, 2021

29.5% External Funding to 2022 Draft Consolidated Community Budget is Not for Nothing - Hon. Ayariga

By Melvin Tejan Mansaray, Abuja-Nigeria, Saturday 4th December 2021

Hon. Mahama Ayariga, a member of the Ghanaian Parliament delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rapporteur Peace, Security, and African Peer Review Mechanism, has said that external influence on the Community 2022 draft consolidated budget will have serious consequences on the independence and autonomy on the Community's Institutions.

Hon. Ayariga was speaking in an exclusive interview following the presentation of the final report of the 'Thirtieth Meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC)' - held from 25th November - 2nd December 2021   at the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament's Second Ordinary Session of 2021 (November 29th to December 18th, 2021) which contained the 2022 Draft Consolidated Community   Budget of ECOWAS Institutions tabled for Members of the ECOWAS Parliament  (MEP) on Saturday 4th December 2021 at the  International Conference  Center, Garki,  Abuja-Nigeria.

 The Chairman of the AFC, ECOWAS Commission, Mohamed NurudeenIsmaila   said the proposed 2022 Draft Consolidated Community   Budget of ECOWAS Institutions is in the tune of  African Development Bank  Units of Account (UA) 394.110.921  (USD 541,941,927)   and it is realistic, noting that “the budget is based on realistic  figures on  the initial income."

The AFC final report captured in Item No. 9, 'Presentation and Consideration of the 2022 Draft Consolidated Budget of ECOWAS Institutions,' noting that, "The Commissioner for Finance, Halima Ahmed presented the draft 2022 consolidated budget of all the ECOWAS Institutions, except that of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), which are under the supervision of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers."

 The proposed 2022 Draft Consolidated Community Budget described the total income of the 2021 approved budget at UA 398,044,626 and proposes for the year 2022 the amount of UA 394,110,921, with the finance of 1.0% (-3,933,705).

The 2022 draft consolidated community budget of the Community Institutions also captured  a 47.9% constituting UA 183,891,363 from Community Levy, Year-End Bank Balances of UA 13,591,989 (3.4%), Arrears of Community Levy Proceeds of UA 72,987,460 (18.5%), Arrears of Contribution  UA1,768,710 (0.4%),Other Income UA 798,130 (0.2%) and External Funding of UA 116,073,269 (29.5%).

According to Hon. Ayariga, the amount of external funding influence on the proposed 2022    budget of the Community Institutions must be seriously considered as it tends to influence the ideologies and alignment of the Community by the external financiers.

"If you take a look at the proposed 2022 Community Budget close to thirty percent of it is coming from external sources, even the budget of the institutions themselves, if you compare it to our own internally generated income from the community institutions - the income does not meet the threshold of our institutional total budget expenditure," Hon. Ayariga said.

He added that:  "With close to thirty percent of the budget coming from external sources, you can't guarantee the autonomy and independence of the ECOWAS bloc. External forces give you money for nothing, they give you money for influence and so that you can toe ideological lines and pursue their interests. Nobody gives money for free."

Hon. Ayariga said the basic budget of the ECOWAS Community must be met by the various countries themselves.

"If external funding is coming for programs and projects, that I think you can manage the extent to which it can be used to mount pressure on the Community to pursue an interest that will not be truly aligned to the interest of the community, that's why I raised a concern about how we can sustain our independence and autonomy if we are depending so much on external funding for budget," Hon. Ayariga said.

 He said one way the Community will cut its over-reliant on external budgetary support is for the Member States to pay their levy.

Hon. Ayariga said: "Countries are not paying their levies, if they pay their levies, I believe that it will meet our basic institutional budget expenditure,” adding that   the Community has a choice not to be heavily dependent on external funding, " because we have  a levy and the levy  is enough   to pay for our bills."

"If the countries pay their levies, it will pay for the bills," Hon. Ayariga emphasized.

It is the view of the AFC that reading out the list of arrears owed by the Member States is inappropriate despite several calls by MEPs for them to disclose the information which they deem as an unpalatable diplomatic exercise.

Hon. Ayariga said the list of community levy arrear holders should be read out to Members of the Community Parliament, adding that,  "The Parliamentarians should play a critical role in getting their countries to pay their levies but if they don't have the information, they won't be able to pursue their governments back home. So, they need to be told that your country hasn't paid so that when they are home,  they would push and monitor their national budgets to see whether a provision has been made and whether the various Finance  Ministers are reporting that they are giving the money or they haven't given the money and if they haven't given the money, they can make it a local national parliament issue to hold the Finance  Ministers'  accountable for transferring the monies to the ECOWAS. But if you don't have information, you can't follow up from the Commission."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Comment expressed do not reflect the opinion of African Parliamentary News