Metro

December 1, 2022

Nigeria remits $100m to ECOWAS in community levies

By Victoria Ojeme

The Federal Government has paid US$100,324,011.33 to the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) as community levy this year alone.

This was disclosed at the presentation of the Nigeria country report by the Nigerian delegation at the ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

The leader of Nigeria’s delegation of parliamentarians to ECOWAS Parliament, Ahmed Wase, said Nigeria has, so far in 2022, remitted the amount to the ECOWAS Commission.

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He added that the government is committed to fulfilling her financial obligations to ECOWAS, and is making arrangements to pay up the balance for the year.

He said: “Nigeria’s commitment to the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods is completely unwavering.

“In a bid to gain full realisation of the protocol, the Federal Government has introduced the Visa on Arrival (VoA) policy to expedite movement of ECOWAS members through Nigeria’s borders.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has signed the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

“Nigeria has equally demonstrated commitment to a gradual removal of import duties and other non-tariff barriers on imports within the African continent.

“To show the Federal Government’s commitment, the Nigerian Ports Authority has commissioned the first Export Processing Terminal (EPT) in the country.

“This is geared at enabling export-bound cargoes access to the Lagos Seaports without a glitch, in line with AfCFTA objectives.

“With this move, we believe we will encourage intra-African trade and boost regional development.”

2023 elections

On the 2023 elections, he reported that the political situation in Nigeria is charged-up with electioneering activities and that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed its commitment to free, fair and credible elections.

On the security situation in the country, he said Nigeria is currently stable, as data for Q3 shows a decline in insecurity but added that the country is still experiencing some security challenges.

On the economy, Wase said: “The economy is slowly recovering from the combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine war, insecurity, and natural disasters.

“Despite the challenges, the Nigerian economy recorded a 3.54% growth in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

“This is a 0.43% increase from Q2 of 2021 where we had a 3.11% growth and a higher showing, compared to the initial market forecasts of 2.60% growth.

“The current growth we see in the economy is driven by the non-oil sector with key sectors being – finance and insurance; transportation; agriculture and manufacturing; information and communication sectors.

“The oil sector, which has been the economic driver and core revenue generator for the country, has shrunken by 12%. Oil production declined to 1.43 million barrels per day in Q2 of 2022, compared with 1.49 million barrels in Q1.

“The loss in production is largely attributable to oil bunkering and as a result, Nigeria has been unable to meet her OPEC+ quota this year.

“However, the country’s oil production is set to improve through the Federal Government’s collaboration with some major stakeholders in the industry to clamp down on oil theft.

“Thus, improving production and guarantying efficient export operations by the end of November 2022.”

He explained that to cushion the impact of the troubled economy, the Federal Government of Nigeria has leveraged on Nigeria’s international partnerships.