Single Currency: No Division in ECOWAS, Onyeama Insists

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Geoffrey Onyeama

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has insisted that there was no division in

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), disclosing that the Heads of States of the sub-regional body are set to meet to discuss issues bordering on the adoption of the single currency – the Eco – for the sub-region.

Onyeama, while briefing journalists yesterday, after a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, and the President of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Brou, said that there was no division between Anglophone and Francophone countries within ECOWAS over the single currency adoption.

He added that the sub-regional body would hold a meeting of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments to ensure that all the member-states were on the same page.

“That is a whole point of organising this meeting very quickly so that we can dispel that notion that there is a division.

“So, the sooner a meeting can be organised of all the heads of state, then we will be in a better position to dispel this notion that somehow, there is this division between the various groups. ECOWAS is one,” he said.

The minister’s comments come after President Muhammadu Buhari warned that the desire for the single currency could be in “serious jeopardy” unless member states comply with agreed processes of reaching the collective
goal.

Also speaking on Thursday, the ECOWAS president said the meeting was convened to discuss the single currency, assuring that the body was doing its best to advance the process.

“I think we made very good progress in recent months and we continue to work collectively all together so that we can achieve what our principals have set,” Brou said.

Earlier, Ahmed, said the inability to meet the convergence criteria was responsible for the delay in achieving the regional single currency.

“We are all struggling with trying to stabilise the exchange rate, trying to also make sure that our debts are at manageable levels.

“So, we have to discuss whether the roadmap will stay as it is or we may have to change and m