Nigeria Doubts ECOWAS Single Currency Take-off in 2020
POLITICS DIGEST – Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has pointed out that the 2020 date for takeoff of the ECOWAS currency may be unrealistic following the inability of member States to meet their convergence criteria.
She made this known during the Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks in West Africa on ECOWAS Commission single currency meeting held in Abuja weekend. The Nigerian Minister further disclosed that it was only Togo that has met all the required criteria among the ECOWAS states.
The meeting was attended by the Governors of the ECOWAS Central Banks including Mr. Godwin Emefiele of Nigeria, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union UEMOA Commission Mr. Boureima Abdallah, President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development EBID Mr. Bashir Mamman Ifo, Director General of the Monetary Agency of West Africa Mr. Momodu Bamba Saho as well as Director General of the Monetary Institute of West Africa Dr. Eunice Ngozi Egbuna, among others.
She argued that since the reports indicates that Togo is the only country that met the criteria hence any move in that direction will be impossible for the commission going ahead with only one country
Mrs. Ahmed however, assured that the Nigerian government is in full support for the establishment of an ECOWAS bank which will go a long way to facilitate trade among member states of the region.
Ahmed expressed confidence on the sub-regional body’s economy which she describes, as promising despite teething challenges.
Speaking at the occasion, President, Economic Commission for West African State ECOWAS, Jean–Claude Kassi Brou said that the path to economic convergence in the region on a sustained basis still remains key challenge of progress towards monetary integration in the sub-region.
”We need to continue to work collectively to deal in an adequate manner with those remaining challenges” The President of the ECOWAS commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou made the disclosures Saturday in his speech to a two Meeting of The Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Banks of ECOWAS holding in Abuja..
He explained that it is pertinent to mention that since the last meeting in Abidjan on June 2019, progress has been made in several area which includes the implementation of the various institutional programmes and the Revised Roadmap Activities of the Single Currency, the adoption of a flexible exchange rate regime with a monetary policy framework focused on targeting inflation, the adoption of the federal system as the model of the ECOWAS Central Bank as well as the adoption of “ECO” as the name of the ECOWAS Single Currency.
He stressed, ”Our meeting today is indeed a critical one as we are just a few months before 2020, hence, our Principals will be expecting the Report of the Ministerial Committee on the Single Currency which will be presented to them on December 21, 2019, expectations are also very high within our community regarding the introduction of the single currency.
He stated that a closer look would have to be taken on ways to accelerate the implementation of the Roadmap of the single currency programme by removing all difficulties.