President Muhamadu Buhari has cautioned member nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the push for a single currency in the sub-region by the year 2020.
President Buhari gave the warning on Tuesday in Niamey, Niger, at the Presidential Task Force conference on the ECOWAS Currency Programme, citing the European Union’s continuous challenge in attaining the same ambition to buttress his point.
President Buhari’s position was issued in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Femi Adesina, detailing his speech at the conference
According to Buhari, member countries of the ECOWAS have, over the years, continued to differ on certain economic fundamentals, making the attainment of the goal of single currency by 2020 even more difficult.
The Nigerian President was quoted as saying;
“Nigeria advises that we proceed cautiously with the integration agenda, taking into consideration the above concerns and the lessons currently unfolding in the European Union.
“To that end, Nigeria will caution against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting fundamentals and other pertinent issues,”
He further stated that, “Although the ECOWAS Commission has anchored its pursuit of the new impetus to monetary integration on the information presented to the Heads of State which were the basis for their recommendations, we are concerned that we have not properly articulated and analysed a comprehensive picture of the state of preparedness of individual countries for monetary integration in ECOWAS by 2020.
“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 this concerns.”