ECOWAS Citizen’s Union appeals for residence permit fee reductionMay 30, 2011
ECOWAS citizens living in Liberia are appealing to relevant authorities of the sub-regional bloc to establish a harmonized structure for resident permit fees across member countries.
They also want a significant reduction in fees they annually pay before obtaining a permit.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS Citizens Union in Liberia, Yahaya E. Jalingo, made the appeal on his people's behalf in an interview in Monrovia where a program marking the 36th anniversary of the sub-regional bloc took place at the weekend.
"What is the essence of free movement and the right to residence and establishment if resident permits are not affordable for the vast majority of ECOWAS citizens who are low income earners?" he asked.
Mr. Jalingo said their Union's appeal is predicated on the fact that they want to encourage all citizens to be law abiding and at the same time form part of the region's statistical data.
“This can't be a reality”, he said, “with high fees in place”.
The high cost of the permit, he added, was also causing most of those who can't afford to pay to resort to living "underground".
Mr. Jalingo wants the ECOWAS Commission and Parliament to take the issue very seriously because it's a perennial problem that cuts across the entire region.
By William Selmah, WADR Monrovia Correspondent (Edited by Harrison Akoh)