President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned that the ambition for Ecoregional currency could be in ‘serious jeopardy,’ unless member states complied with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal.
President Buhari also expressed concern over the decision of francophone countries who under the platform of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) plan to replace the CFA Franc with Eco ahead of the rest of member States.
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.
The meeting discussed the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) and the ECOWAS Single Currency Agenda.
The Nigerian leader in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, said he has been informed that the French Ministers have approved a bill to reform the CFA Franc and most of the UEMOA member states have already passed legislations in their various parliaments to that effect.
He expressed concern saying “people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking these major steps without trusting us for discussion,’’.
President Buhari, who assured ECOWAS leaders of Nigeria’s commitment to the ECOWAS single currency 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.