In the ongoing Ecowas meeting in Niamey, Republic of Niger, President Muhamadu Buhari has urged member countries of West African States to tread cautiously in pushing for a single currency in the sub-region by 2020. This was made known in his speech at the fourth meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Currency Programme. Buhari said the necessary economic fundamentals among countries continue to differ over the years, making it more difficult to pull through with the project by 2020.
He also Recall back on the challenges faced by the European Union in actualizing similar goals just to buttress his position. “To that end, Nigeria will be cautious against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting fundamentals and other pertinent issues,” the President was quoted as saying.
Buhari noted that some of the obstacles to realizing the roadmap for the implementation of a single currency include diverse and uncertain macro-economic fundamentals of many countries, unrealistic inflation targeting based on flexible exchange rate regime and inconsistency with the African Monetary Co-operation Programme.
The President said domestic issues in ECOWAS member countries relating to their constitutions and dependence on aids continue to affect the framework for implementing the single currency in the sub-region
He said, “Although the ECOWAS Commission has anchored its pursuit of the new impetus to monetary integration on the information presented to the Heads of State which were the basis for their recommendations, we are concerned that we have not properly articulated and analyzed a comprehensive picture of the state of preparedness of individual countries for monetary integration in ECOWAS by 2020.
“In previous meetings, we had specifically raised observations on the state of preparedness of the member states, the credibility of the union if anchored on watered down criteria, and the continuing disparities between macroeconomic conditions in ECOWAS countries, amongst others. And I would like to reiterate these concerns.”
The President told the Heads of State that the conditions that pushed Nigeria into withdrawing from the process in the past had not changed.
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