Single Currency: Buhari Kicks Against Same Currency For West Africa By 2020


President Muhamadu Buhari has urged member countries of the Economic Community of West African States to to tread carefully in pushing for a single currency in the sub-region by 2020.

Speaking on Tuesday, October 24, in Niamey, Republic of Niger, Buhari cited the challenges faced by the European Union in realising the same goal to justify his position.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President made his stand 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.

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The President was quoted as saying:

“Nigeria advises that we proceed cautiously with the integration agenda, taking into consideration the above concerns and the lessons currently unfolding in the European Union.

“To that end, Nigeria will caution against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting fundamentals and other pertinent issues”.

Buhari pointed out that some of the hindrances to realising the road-map 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.

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He further stated that domestic issues in ECOWAS member countries with regards 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 analysed 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 this concerns.”

Speaking further, 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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