By Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
Six West African Countries have rejected the unilateral adoption of the Eco as the region’s single currency.
On December 21, 2019, member countries of the West African sub region were blindsided by a decision to adopt the Eco as the ECOWAS single currency.
Ministers of finance and Central Bank Governor from other West African countries led by Nigeria on Thursday rejected the adoption of the Eco as the region’s single currency.
The six countries that rejected the adoption of the Eco as single currency until all issues are addressed are Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Addressing the press at the end of the extra ordinary meeting of finance ministers and Central Bank Governors in Abuja yesterday, Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed stated that the West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Convergence Council viewed the action as “not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.”
In rejecting the adoption of Eco as a single currency, Zainab Ahmed said the WAMZ Convergence Council “noted with concern, the declaration by His Excellency, Alasane Outtarra, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020.”
Going forward, the WAMZ Convergence Council urged member countries to “adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.”
The WAMZ Convergence Council recommended that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.
On the 7th of December 2019, no agreement was reached on where to domicile the ECOWAS Central Bank the logo to be used on the currency and the reserve levels of the bank.
At the end of the meeting, it resolved that Under macroeconomic convergence report. ECOWAS Commission should: Ensure that the Joint Survellance Missions are extended to cover all the ECOWAS Member States as from 2020; Organize National coordinating committees meetings to validate country reports as well as macroeconomic convergence reports in line with the Convergence Pact, and Accelerate the process of harmonization of the region’s statistical frameworks; and Member States should accelerate efforts to meet the convergence criteria
With regard to the status of implementation of the revised Roadmap activities, it was recommended that: review the deadlines in the revised roadmap to take into account the delays in its implementation; and reallocate the financial resources of the Special Fund to the various activities of the revised roadmap to finance the activities of WAMI, WAMA and the ECOWAS Commission.
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On the Creation of the ECOWAS Monetary Union in 2020 assessments of Progress and Gaps, the Ministerial Committee recommended that: It’s review on the basis of updated data and completing the implementation status of the roadmap activities; The review of its analytical framework and submission of the revised version to the Central Banks and Member States for comment, prior to its adoption by the Committee of Governors and the Ministerial committee.
Concerning the Terms of Reference (TOR) for hosting of the ECOWAS Central Bank, The Ministerial committee mandated the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) to circulate them by Monday 9th December 2019 to all Member States.
With regard to the Report of the Meeting of experts to Validate the Draft Charter of the West African Securities Regulators Association (WASRA) and the operational rules of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC), recommended that the documents be resubmitted to the central Banks for review.