Naira Depreciation Threatens Adoption of ECOWAS Single Currency

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The desire of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to achieve full integration of the region through the adoption of a single currency is currently under threat due to the steady decline of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira.

ECOWAS had set the year 2020 as the year to achieve the adoption of a single currency for the region. Although various policies have been introduced and at various stages of implementation in member states countries, there are genuine concerns that economic challenges of member states particularly, Nigeria may threaten this ambition.

This was a consensus view by members of the Technical Meeting of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Policy Committee on Multilateral Surveillance, during a two day technical meeting, yesterday in Abuja.

Out-going Chairman of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Policy Committee on Multilateral Surveillance, Ommy Sar Ndaiye, who noted that the commission has make remarkable progress in its macroeconomic policies urged the committee to chat the way forward for the economy of member states.

She said the depreciation of the value of the naira and other economic challenges facing member states are affecting the economy of the entire region and also the plans for the adoption of a single currency in the region.
“The depreciation in value of the naira and other economic factors in Nigeria are affecting ECOWAS. We all know that whatever happens in Nigeria weighs heavily on our economies. If there are challenges there it would reflect on the region”, she said.
She urged the committee members to look inward and find better ways to strengthen economic ties within the region.

On his part, Commissioner of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Mamadou Traore, while stating that the aim of the session was to take a look at the 2015 report, monitor, evaluate and make appropriate recommendations that would help revive the economy of member states, lamented that, “Despite efforts by the commission to strengthen the economy of ECOWAS, the economy is still vulnerable to external shocks”.

He urged member states to update their database on a regular basis on measures that drives economic growth and also furnish same to the commission for proper information.

He said the 2015 report on the Macroeconomic convergence for the region showed a slowdown in growth of the economy when compared to 2014. Traore, identified factors such as lack of raw material, poor state of infrastructural development in member states countries and the depreciation in value of the naira as been responsible.