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Buhari warns ECOWAS countries against currency integration


President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against implementing the planned currency integration in the sub-region by the year 2020.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, spoke yesterday during the fifth meeting of the Presidential Task Force on ECOWAS Currency Programme in Accra, Ghana.

He noted that Heads of Government had not properly articulated and analysed a comprehensive picture of the state of preparedness of individual countries for monetary integration by 2020.

He reiterated that the non-preparedness of some member countries had watered down criteria and the continuing disparities between macro-economic conditions in ECOWAS countries.

President Buhari further observed that ECOWAS Heads of Government had not been adequately briefed on the full implications of forcing through the integration by 2020, particularly where some countries were not individually ready domestically.

While pointing out that there were still outstanding issues in the roadmap to an integrated currency union, he noted that the macro-economic fundamentals of many countries in ECOWAS were diverse and uncertain. He also noted that the inflation targeting regime recommended as framework was not feasible as it was based on adoption of a flexible exchange rate regime. He equally noted that real convergence was nowhere near achievable despite efforts made so far.

President Buhari therefore called for a push towards ratification and domestication of legal instruments and related protocols, and the harmonization of all fiscal, trade and monetary policies and statistical systems, with a view to limiting the extent of current policy divergences.

He also advised that the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) countries to make a presentation on a clear roadmap towards delinking from the French Treasury.


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