AU proposes $522 million budget for 2015

African Union summit in Addis Ababa

Nigeria is responsible for about 17 per cent of the operational budget of the AU.

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The African Union, AU, has proposed a $522.12 million budget for 2015.

According to documents made available in Malabo on Friday, the draft budget is expected to be adopted at the 23rd Ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments of the AU.

The 2015 budget proposal, which is 32 per cent higher than that of 2014, had already been discussed and debated at the Executive Council meeting of the AU earlier this week in Malabo.

Nigeria is responsible for about 17 per cent of the operational budget of the AU.

An overview of the proposed budget indicates that $142.6 million was budgeted for operational cost and $379.4 million for programmes.

It was proposed that the 54-member states of the AU would finance 28 per cent while their partners would be responsible for 72 per cent of the budget.

Some critics decried the AU’s over-dependence on partners to fund its budget, saying that it would expose the continental body to unnecessary control from external bodies.

The AU had constituted a panel on alternative sources of funding presided over by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The report of the panel was adopted in May 2013, and some of their recommendations to raise additional funds for the AU included hospitality tax on hotel bookings and tax on airline tickets.

However, the AU Ministers of Finance, who met in Abuja in March 2014, were not able to reach a consensus on the operationalisation of the recommendations of the Obasanjo panel.

A Nigerian diplomat, who is familiar with the recommendations of the panel, said many countries, especially those dependent on tourism, were working to derail a speedy conclusion of the consideration of the panel’s recommendations.

“Nigeria is demanding that the summit take a definitive stance on the report of the Obasanjo Panel. This is to enable it to give AU the independence, flexibility and ownership of its projects and programmes, devoid of unnecessary outside interference,” the diplomat said.

(NAN)


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