The director-general of West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), Olorunsola Olowofeso, says expectation for an ECOWAS single currency by 2027 is no longer realistic.

Mr Oluwafeso, who said this in an interview on Monday in Abuja, said this was due to the inability of all the WAMZ member states of  meeting all the required criteria.

He spoke against the backdrop of the recently held 48th meeting of the Committee of Governors of the Central Banks of the nember-states of the WAMZ in Abuja.

According to him, it is unlikely that any of the member-states will satisfy all four primary convergence criteria on a sustainable basis between 2024 and 2026.

“The quest for a single currency by WAMZ will take much longer to achieve as the convergence indicators have declined significantly. The assessment of member states’ performance reveals that, as of the end of June 2023, all member states failed to meet all the four primary convergence criteria.

“The zone’s performance score declined to 29.2 per cent, compared to 41.7 per cent during the same period in 2022,” he said.

He said the medium-term projections on macroeconomic convergence suggested that none of the WAMZ member-states would meet all the primary convergence criteria sustainably between now and 2027 for the convergence phase of the ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, said Nigeria remained committed to achieving the WAMZ objectives.

Mr Edun said, “I am sure we have the wherewithal and resilience to realise the WAMZ ambition.

“We must, as a bloc, work together to strengthen and improve the economies of the zone.”

WAMZ is a group of six countries within ECOWAS formed in 2000.

Member countries are Nigeria, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

At ECOWAS’ 55th ordinary session in July 2019, the 15-member regional group had agreed to launch Eco in January 2020.

While eight, mostly francophone countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau (Portuguese-speaking), Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo — announced in December 2019 that they would be changing from the CFA Franc to Eco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Gambia, who are all English-speaking, as well as Guinea, a francophone country, rejected the adoption of Eco.

Then-President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had called for the extension of the take-off.




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