The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), H.E Jean Claude Kassi Brou, has restated the commitment of the Commission to the single currency project of the regional community.

President Brou also reaffirmed ECOWAS Commission’s determination to strengthen cooperation with all Member States’ Central Banks and Regional Institutions in order to meet the goals of the project.

The ECOWAS Commission President stated the aforementioned at the opening of the Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Bank on the ECOWAS single currency programme in Abuja, Nigeria.

Monetary integration in ECOWAS, according to President Brou, is one of the main objectives of the regional integration programme prompting the regional leaders to decide on 2020 as the year of the launching of the Monetary Union.

He highlighted the areas where progress has been made since their last meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on June 2019, to include the implementation of the various institutional programmes and the revised roadmap, adoption of a flexible exchange rate regime with a monetary policy framework focused on targeting inflation, the federal system as the model of the ECOWAS Central Bank, as well as the choice of “ECO” as the name of the ECOWAS Single Currency.

However, it was noted that despite the strides, much work needs to be done to achieve the stated objective of the project - a strong monetary union, which can serve the economic and social development of the region.

Expectations are high regarding the report to be presented to the Authority of Heads of State and Government later this month, detailing the work done on the Single Currency.

It was disclosed that the Report of the Experts Meeting of the Member States for the Validation of the Draft Charter of the West African Association of Supervisors (WASRA) as well as the Operating Rules of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) will also be included for discussion during the Summit.

Stressing that a closer look should be given to ways of accelerating the implementation of the Roadmap of the Single Currency programme by removing all difficulties, President Brou added: “We need to continue to work collectively to deal in an adequate manner with those remaining challenges”.

In her address, the Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Hon. Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, stressed the importance of the Ministerial Meeting, noting that the region is on crossroads over the single currency programme.

Calling for open, frank discussions by delegates, she reiterated that the lessons learned and recommendations from the Meeting will have a profound impact on the economic development of the region. To this end, the Nigerian Minister stressed the need for delegates to come up with a “befitting name” for the single currency, as well as a suitable location of its Central Bank, taking into consideration the terms of reference of the project.

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