FG calls for ECOWAS single currency extension

The Federal Government has called for an extension of the inauguration of the region-wide currency, Eco. This was disclosed in its @NGRPresident twitter handle.

Giving reasons why more time was needed, the Federal government said in the tweet that majority of the countries had not met the required criteria to allow them join the Eco currency.

ECOWAS: Single currency regime not kicking off in 2020  

“Nigeria’s position on the Eco currency is that the convergence criteria have not been met by majority of the countries. There has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency,” the presidency said.

According to Nigeria, so far, only one country in the region, Togo, has met a set of tough ECOWAS monetary and economic criteria to allow it to join the proposed currency.

Since the Eco Currency was announced by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), it has been discussed upon and postponed due to certain reasons. The move, which began 30 years ago, has been experiencing a delay due to the failure of the countries to reach a consensus.

One of the push back was caused by the announcement by French-speaking countries in the region that they would also adopt Eco this year as they look to cut monetary ties with former colonial ruler France.

Nigeria and other English-speaking nations criticised this move, saying that was not in line with the currency’s initiative and what it wants to achieve.

Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone all joined Nigeria to speak against the sudden decision by Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo to adopt Eco in 2020.

Recall that the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed was quoted to have said, “The action is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the ‘Eco’ as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.”

She added that the West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Convergence Council “noted with concern, the declaration by His Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on December 21, 2019, to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as ‘Eco’ by 2020.”

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