Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says Nigeria and
majority of other African countries are not yet ready for the
implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency, “Eco,” in 2020.
Onyeama, who made this known on Thursday in Abuja while speaking with
Journalists, explained that Nigeria’s position on the single currency
was agreed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Onyeama said that meeting up the convergence criteria for a single
currency was one of the preconditions to be met by Member States to
achieve implementation of the single currency, NAN reports.
The minister said that only one country out of the ECOWAS member
states had been able, for over a period of three years, to maintain the
“Majority of the countries understand that we are not quite ready
immediately to go into this single currency market, but it is a process.
“Some of the French-speaking countries understand that since their
currency, the CFA, is linked to the euro, that they also have to
de-link, to start preparing towards this single market.
“And so, they have taken certain measures where the 50 per cent they
ordinarily have to deposit with the French Central Bank, that is no
longer going to be the case.
“France is no longer going to be represented on the board of the bank, So, there really is no major contradictions.
“There is no question of anybody colonising anybody. It was an initiative of the African countries and France accepted.
“The Eco is now going to be linked at the exchange rate with the
euro. But that was a request, a specific request by the African
countries,” he said.
Onyeama said that everything being done, is being undertaken by sovereign countries, exercising their sovereign wealth.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ECOWAS Presidents
during the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of
States and Government adopted Eco as the official name for the ECOWAS
President Mahamadou Issofou, Chairman of the Authority and Niger
Republic’s President, had said that implementation of the single
currency by 2020 was a priority on his agenda.