Nigeria and Ghana have presented variance views on the introduction of a single currency for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The two West African nations failed to agree on the initiative at the just-concluded meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS single currency programme, which held in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Speaking at the meeting, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, was of the opinion that member states should ensure that the single currency be introduced by 2020.
Akufo-Addo further disclosed that ECOWAS was blessed with abundant human and material resources, hence having a common currency would speed up stronger commercial ties with accompanying benefits.
He said: “We remain determined to have a single currency which will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction cost, boost economic activity and raise the living standard of our people. It is a goal, we must achieve.”
However, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who represented his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the meeting, cautioned against a hasty move to introduce a single currency for West Africa.
According to him, ECOWAS heads of government have not properly analysed a comprehensive picture of the state of preparedness of individual countries for monetary integration by 2020.
His comments were in corroboration to a previous cautionary words issued by Nigeria’s President at the 4th meeting of the presidential task force on the ECOWAS currency, which held in Niger in October 2017.
At that meeting, Buhari had said Nigeria would not endorse the quick implementation of the currency policy because of diverse and uncertain macroeconomic fundamentals of many countries.
“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,’’ Buhari said.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme reaffirmed member states’ commitment to ratify and implement all relevant ECOWAS protocols and conventions.
The meeting was also attended by Faure Gnassingbe, Togolese President and Central Bank Governor of Guinea, Mr. Lounceny Nabe, representing the country’s President, Professor Alpha Conde.