ECOWAS: No Going Back on Single Currency

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  •  Says year 2020 for currency adoption remains sacrosanct

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said it remains cimmittted towards the realisation of full economic integration of the region through the adoption of a single currency.

ECOWAS also assured that irrespective of current economic challenges plaguing the region, the community would do all within its ability to ensure that the ambition of a single currency does not extend beyond the original date set for its take-off in the region.

This was disclosed at the 9th statutory meeting of the ECOWAS Convergence Council and Macroeconomic Policy Committee in Abuja.

The committee, which comprised of the sub-region’s finance ministers and governors of central bank, while admitting that the current economic realities in West Africa have slowed down efforts to achieve single currency, however expressed confidence that the region can overcome the challenges.
According to the President of ECOWAS, Marcel de Souza: “Though there were certain obstacles but the commission remained resolute towards achieving full integration.”

Represented by ECOWAS Commissioner for Microeconomic Policy, Mahmodou Traore, the president assured that the roadmap for achieving single currency would not go beyond 2020.
Also speaking, Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, in Liberia, Mr. Alvin Attah, urged the members of the council to ensure the successful implementation of the Multilateral Surveillance Mechanism in their respective countries.

“ECOWAS commission relies on your leadership and effective supervision of the regional programme of the Multilateral Surveillance Mechanism, which is absolutely vital and necessary for the achievement of the Single Currency”, he said, adding that,

“The launch of the Single Currency must be achieved in a timely manner within the framework of ECOWAS Vision 2020”.
Earlier at the meetings, the community had expressed concern over the continued depreciation of Nigeria’s currency, the naira, the fall in oil price and other poor economic situations in the region, hinting that they are capable of derailing the single currency plan by the community.