Having failed to meet the convergence criteria again, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on countries under the ECOWAS sub-region to put in more efforts to achieve the single currency program by 2020.
President Buhari insisted that “convergence must be based on sound and sustainable macro economic fundamentals.”
The President said, there is no denying that considerable amount of resources, time and effort had been expended in the pursuit of regional integration agenda. He said this should be justified by achieving the objectives of the monetary union by 2020.
He assured West African leaders that Nigeria is still committed “to providing a leadership role in assisting ECOWAS achieve the single currency regime as well as moving the ECOWAS integration agenda forward.”
President made this assertion at the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) 2018 mid-year statutory meetings in Abuja yesterday.
President Buhari who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, noted that, as the largest economy in the sub-region, a lot of responsibility rest on Nigeria for the establishment and sustainability of the monetary union.
With barely 18 months to the target date for the introduction of ECOWAS single currency, Buhari, urged Members of council to situate the issues within the global context and the challenges confronting existing monetary zones.
According to him, “the lessons of the euro zones for example should guide us in putting in place robust frameworks for the establishment of a durable monetary union.”
He admitted that compliance with fiscal deficit criterion is the most challenging of the four fiscal macro-economic convergence criterion for member states, and noted that “there is need to identify those developments that derail fiscal policy implementation in member countries and relate them to the overall objectives.”
According to him, “Nigeria remains committed to the integration agenda and a sustainable development of our community with the over all goal of improving the quality of life of all ECOWAS citizen.
Buhari also pleaded with member countries to reconsider the issue of transforming the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) into a commission.