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General News of Thursday, 7 April 2016

Source: Starrfmonline.com

ECOWAS is facing financial difficulties – Commissioner

The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is facing SEVERE “financial difficulties” and can no longer fight terrorism and other threats in the sub-region.

According to the ECOWAS Commission, member states have continually failed to honor the payment of their mandatory community levies.

This is hugely affecting the operations of the commission in the wake of increasing reports of insecurity, terrorism and piracy challenges among others.

Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security for ECOWAS, Salamatu Hussain Suleiman in an interview with Starr News said the issue has forced the Commission to re-prioritize their scheduled activities in maintaining peace and security in West Africa.

“ECOWAS is currently suffering from very serious financial challenges. Mainly we rely on what we call community levy, each country is supposed to pay 0.05 percent of its imports as levy to the ECOWAS commission...but unfortunately the community levy is not being respected as much as it should and that funding gap has affected some of our operations,” Hussain Suleiman said.

She added “we have to now put the responsibilities squarely on the member states to take care of its security issues and move on with other things.”