WATAF Chair Elfrieda Stewart Tamba presenting a WATAF package during her meeting with H.E Marcel Alain de Souza in Abuja Nigeria 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 curtesy visit to the ECOWAS President Marcel Alain de Souza too discuss regional taxation issues.
During the visit, the WATAF Chair conveyed appreciation to ECOWAS for its support of WATAF initiatives, including sponsorship of over 30 participants in WATAF annual events and capacity development initiatives.
Chairperson Tamba proposed to the ECOWAS President a need to sign an MOU, which would serve as a conduit through which efficiency in tax administration and domestic resource mobilization could be enhanced throughout the region.
Key proposals of the meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria include among others, 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 to help deliver the region from the shackles of aid dependency.
Other areas to be considered under the MOU are establishment of a Tax Administration institute mirroring similar objectives of WIAFEM 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.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS President Marcel Alain de Souza applauded the initiative to strengthen 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.