Buhari calls for caution on ECOWAS common currency
NEWSMAN, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned that the ambition for Eco regional currency can be in ‘serious jeopardy,’ unless member states complied with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal.
The president also expressed concern over the decision of francophone countries that form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to replace the CFA Franc with Eco ahead of the rest of Member States.
Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a press statement, said the president delivered Nigeria’s position on the new regional currency at a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) on Tuesday in Abuja, the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
The meeting discussed the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) and the ECOWAS Single Currency Agenda.
“It, therefore, gives me an uneasy feeling that the UEMOA Zone now wishes to take up the Eco in replacement for its CFA Franc ahead of the rest of the Member States”Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari enunciated.
“We have made remarkable progress including the adoption of the Exchange Rate regime, the name and model of the common Central Bank and the symbol” said President Buhari as contained in the statement.
‘‘I am informed that the French Ministers have approved a bill to reform the CFA Franc and most, if not all of the UEMOA Member States, have already passed legislations in their various Parliaments to that effect. It is a matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking these major steps without trusting us for discussion.’’ He added.
The Nigerian leader urged them to critically consider the recommendations made by the Convergence Council and take a common position to safeguard the West African Monetary Zone from the pitfalls of a questionable union.
He affirmed Nigeria’s support for a monetary union with the right fundamentals, which guarantees credibility, sustainability and overall regional prosperity and sovereignty.
According to the President, Nigeria also believes that given the potential contractions and even losses from the global Covid-19 pandemic, member states cannot but be too cautious about ensuring compliance with the set standards.
In the light of the caution raised by Nigeria and some other West African countries at the meeting, ECOWAS leaders resolved to convene an enlarged meeting of the regional bloc on the single currency issue.