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ECOWAS Central Bank governors call for synergy towards single currency

The Committee of the Governors of Central Banks of ECOWAS Member States led by its chairman, Mr Godwin Emiefele of the Central Bank of Nigeria…

The Committee of the Governors of Central Banks of ECOWAS Member States led by its chairman, Mr Godwin Emiefele of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have called for greater synergy between the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and ECOWAS in the bid to attain a single currency in the region.

This was the key message from a working visit of the Governors of Central Banks of ECOWAS Member States to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Marcel de Souza yesterday, in Abuja.

During the visit, the President of the Commission emphasized the need for a single currency, which he said, would increase inter-state trade and foster economic integration in the sub-region.

However, he stated that in regards to the convergence, none of the Member States have met the convergence criteria as stipulated by the 2012-2016 macro-economic programme.

Emiefele in his remarks stated that some factors such as lack of adequate funding, low capacity of Member States to meet the requirements of certain areas of harmonization and the coexistence of two exchange rate regimes in the region were responsible for Member States not being able meet the criteria.

The Committee of Governors called on ECOWAS to collaborate closely with WAMA and also consider avenues for financing some of their activities under the roadmap from the community levy.

“There is also a need to establish a formal reporting framework between the committee of Governors and the Council of Ministers to facilitate channelling of relevant policy decisions and information on the Monetary Cooperation Programme to the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government,” Emiefele said. 

The Director-General of WAMA, Mr Momodou Bamba Saho, also reiterated the call for improvement of the synergy between ECOWAS and WAMA as well as other regional organisations by letting each focus on the areas that they could have a positive impact on. 

The Meeting of Central Bank Governors of ECOWAS Member States and the ECOWAS President, was the first of its nature. It was precipitated by the need to assess the progress of the monetary convergence and its attainment by 2020.

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