Abuja - Nigeria — Tax experts began a two-day meeting in Abuja on the 11th of September 2012 to finalize work on tax reforms to be implemented by ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania preparatory to the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between West Africa and the European Union.
The meeting is aimed at identifying the mechanism to be put in place by ECOWAS to assist its Member States that are likely to lose some customs revenue due to the signing of the Agreement, which is still under negotiation.
Participants are expected to make proposals to improve the performance of tax and customs administrations of ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania in the mobilisation of internal tax resources. To this end, the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritanian are requested to make suggestions on tax reforms over the next three years (2013, 2014 and 2015) towards increasing their tax revenues.
The meeting, chaired by the Acting Director of Customs at the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Salifou Tiemtoré is expected to lead to the development of a regional tax reform programme in these States with the purpose of producing a common document to be shared with ECOWAS donors, particularly the European Union.
The participants include representatives of the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), officials of the Trade and Customs Directorates of the ECOWAS Commission as well as consultants recruited by the Commission with GIZ's support.