In her capacity as chairperson of the West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF) the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Elfrieda Stewart Tamba recently paid a courtesy visit to the ECOWAS President H.E Marcel Alain de Souza too discuss regional taxation issues.
During the this visit, the WATAF Chair conveyed appreciation to ECOWAS for its support of WATAF initiatives including the sponsorship of over 30 participants in WATAF annual events and capacity development initiatives.
Chair Tamba proposed to the ECOWAS President the signing of an MOU as a conduit through which efficiency in tax administration and domestic resource mobilization can be enhanced throughout the region.
The key proposals of the February 28, 2017 meeting in Abuja, Nigeria included:
- The establishment of a Department responsible for taxation within the ECOWAS organogram to provide technical assistance on tax matters to member countries on request, advocate policy coherence were appropriate, advance the practice of taxation and domestic resource mobilization within the sub region particularly as donor support dries up. The focus of ECOWAS has been Customs and Trade. The acceptance of this proposal will complement the efforts of regional trade and integration by aiming to strengthen domestic resource mobilization, collaboration and tax will help deliver our region from the shackles of aid dependency.
- Establishment of a Tax Administration institute mirroring the similar objectives of WAFEM but with respect to taxation. The institute will be the premier institution in the region for the training of tax officials and research work in tax administration.
- The strengthening of ECOWAS support to WATAF.
On his part, ECOWAS President H.E Marcel Alain de Souza applauded the initiative by WATAF to strengthen its partnership with ECOWAS and its vision for enhancing tax administration strategically and assured the Chair of WATAF of his commitment to actualizing the MOU hopefully within the next three months after all due-diligence and formalities have been cleared by ECOWAS legal department.