Africa Headline News Special Report

We ‘remitted’ over $74M to ECOWAS Commission for 2021 – Nigerian delegation

Nigeria in 2021 remitted a total of $74,730,054.43 to the ECOWAS Commission as its community levy.

This was made known by the Nigerian delegation at the ECOWAS Parliament while presenting the country’s report at the ongoing First Ordinary Session of the Fifth Legislation of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

ECOWAS Community levy, which has been operational since 2003, is 0.5% imposed on goods from non ECOWAS member-states as a mechanism to mobilise funds to finance projects of the regional body and is intended to cover between 70 to 90% of the Community’s budget.

Nigeria is the highest contributor of the levy, providing more than 40% of the revenue.

Last year, Nigeria contributed 40.46%, followed by Ghana which contributed $508,577, representing 17.4% and Cote d’Ivoire with $347,267, representing 11.9% as at last year.

The remaining 12 member-countries contributed $879,711 altogether.

Last year, the Federal government said it had committed over $1.77 billion to the regional body in the past 16 years.

Although some African countries have defaulted in the payment of their community levy, Nigeria however, promised to remit this year’s levy.

Lynda Ikpeazu, who read the report, said Nigeria was making assiduous efforts to pay its contribution for this year, 2022.

On the security situation in the country, Mrs Ikpeazu said the Federal Government has exponentially increased the budgetary allocation to the defence and security sectors by over 27% in this year’s budget.

As a result, the military has embarked on a massive training of its personnel, in addition to enhancing its logistics and infrastructure as part of renewed efforts to curb banditry and other criminal activities in the country.

Giving an update on the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea, she said the launch of the Deep Blue project, last year, has yielded positive results.

“The 2021 launch and implementation of the integrated National Maritime Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure (Deep Blue Project), that targets insecurity in our waters, has resulted in the drastic reduction of piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea,” Mrs Ikpeazu told the audience.

“The Q1 2022 report of the international Maritime Bureau (IMB) reveals a 56.25% reduction in piracy incident in the Gulf of Guinea, as compared to Q1 of 2021, with seven incidents recorded in 2022 as against 16 incidents in 2021.”

In recognition of Nigeria’s progress in the Maritime sector, the country has been delisted as a piracy prone state by the International Maritime Bureau, she added.

Reporting by Idara Ukpanyang; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare and Tony Okerafor