AFC Chairman Presents 2024 Draft Community Budget to ECOWAS Parliament

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) of ECOWAS, Yakubu A. Dadu, has presented the 2024 draft consolidated community budget to the ECOWAS Parliament for consideration.

The said draft budget is to the tune of three hundred and ninety- seven million two hundred and fifteen thousand seven hundred and forty-eight Units of Account (397,215,748 UA), representing a decrease of 5 percent compared to the 2023 budget which was to the tune of four hundred and eighteen million seventy-two thousand and four hundred and eight UA (418,072,408 UA).

The tabling of the said estimate for the 2024 fiscal year of the regional legislature seeks to have the consideration of the regional legislators for the implementation of its programs and activities.

The 2023 budget has also seen an increase of about Twenty-Four Million Four Hundred and Sixty Thousand and Nine UA (24, 460, 009 UA), representing 6 percent when compared to the approved budget of 2022 of the sum of Three Hundred and Ninety-Three Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand Four Hundred UA (393, 612, 400 UA).

The parliament referred it to an Ad hoc Committee, set up by the plenary, in accordance with the Parliament’s rule of procedure, chaired by Ahmed Idris Wase, First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

The Committee is expected to scrutinise the draft budget and report to the plenary with its opinion and recommendations for adoption.

The 2024 draft budget allocations are made to the ECOWAS Parliament (23, 215, 934 U.A), the ECOWAS Court of Justice (16, 417, 047 U.A), the West Africa Health Organization (62, 689, 949 UA), the intergovernmental Group against Money Laundering, GIABA (12, 017, 701 UA), the Office of the Auditor General, ECOWAS Commission, special programs and interventions in Member States, Peace and Security.

Presenting the budget estimates at the start of the ongoing Parliament’s Second Ordinary Session in the 2023 Legislative Year, also known as the Budget Session, Yakubu A. Dadu, Chairman of the AFC and Head of the Ecowas National Office in Nigeria, said the AFC received a macroeconomic analysis of the sub-region, that provided it with the current economic realities of the sub-region.

“The 2024 draft budget is also influenced by factors, such as the dwindling resources, especially in the decline in the Community Levy proceeds, which accounts for 69.2 percent of funding, adopting and implementation of various projects and programs in the ECOWAS institutions and staffing issues in Community institutions,” said Dadu.

He told lawmakers that the lack of staff has hindered the performance of the Community, thereby affecting the output and tending to impede the integration programme. 

“With that, the AFC had no option than to push for the implementation of the Council’s decision in Bissau for ECOWAS institutions to accelerate the recruitment process,” he added. 

The President of the Commission, Dr Omar AlieuTouray, said the draft budget considers the strategic orientations given by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to rationalize expenditures for a flexible, effective, and efficient ECOWAS.

“It is as realistic as possible in view of the plethora of challenges confronting our region and the world at large. The budget prioritizes activities that have an impact on our populations and that can complement the efforts made by our Member States to mitigate the negative effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the war in the Middle East, the rise in inflation, the impact of regional insecurity and the sanctions applied on Member States in transition, among others,” said the ECOWAS Commission President.