Buhari urges ECOWAS to meet 2020 goal of single currency - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Sunday, September 16

Buhari urges ECOWAS to meet 2020 goal of single currency




PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has urged ECOWAS member countries to strive hard in achieving the 2020 target of introducing their single currency.

He, however, cautioned that economic convergence must be based on sound and sustainable microeconomic fundamentals.

Speaking at the 2018 Mid-year Statutory meeting of the West African Monetary Zone held in Abuja at the weekend, Buhari said Nigeria was committed to providing the leadership by assisting ECOWAS to achieve the objective.

According to him, “Nigeria is reiterating its commitment to the integration programme once all outstanding issues are amicably resolved.

“There is no denying the fact that considerable time and effort have been invested in this pursuit of regional integration agenda.

“Unfortunately in spite of this, results so far in our microeconomic development and convergence have not shown such efforts.”

Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, at the event said, as the largest economy in the region, a lot of responsibility rest on Nigeria for the establishment and sustainability of the monetary union.

“Let me underscore that Nigeria remains committed to the integration agenda and a sustainable development of our community with the overall goal of improving the quality of life of all ECOWAS citizen.

“In order to move the integration forward in very sustainable manner, Nigerian once again emphasizes that economic convergence must be base on sound and sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals and to reconsider the issue of transforming WAMI into a commission.

“This is very critical because the proposed merger of WAMI (West African Monetary Institute)and WAMZ by ECOWAS commission into ECOWAS monitory institute would leave WAMZ with no forum to exchange ideas and discuss matters of common interests to the English speaking countries in the ECOWAS.”

He appealed to the gathering of Finance Ministers and central bank governors present to situate the issues within the global context and the challenges confronting existing monetary zones.

“The lessons of the euro zones, for example, should guide us in putting in place robust frameworks for the establishment of a durable monetary union.”

On the issue of fiscal and banking union, for example, he said this should be carefully studied and taken on board.

He said it is a fact that compliance with fiscal deficit criterion is the most challenging out of the four fiscal macroeconomic convergence criterion for member states.

He said there is need to identify those developments that derail fiscal policy implementation in member countries and relate them to the overall objectives.

Earlier, Director General, West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI), Dr NGOZI Egbuna while presenting a progress report at the opening session had explained that as at December 2017, none of the countries met all the four criteria.