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Plans for ECOWAS single currency impossible by 2020, says minister

ZAINAB Ahmed, Nigeria Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has said that plans for the Economic Community of West African States to have a single currency would be impossible by 2020 due to delays by member states.

Ahmed, in Abuja during the opening session of the ECOWAS committee of ministers of finances and governors of the central banks on the ‘Eco’ currency programme, revealed that only Togo out of the 15 countries has met the criteria for the monetary convergence.

“We need to address in an optimal way the challenges ahead of us. This meeting is important because we are at a crossroads. The recommendations we make will have significant implications on the monetary policies we undertake.”

Considering the length of time it took the only state to complete the necessary requirement, the minister said it would be impossible for the other states to attain the same feat within the time available and criteria required.

In addition, Jean-Claude Kasi, ECOWAS President, during the meeting, noted that member countries had made significant progress in several areas to achieve the monetary convergence.

He, however, emphasised on the need to do more work.

The finance minister said that, in the first half of this year, the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region recorded a growth rate of 3.1 per cent, with expectation for a rise to 3.3 per cent by end of 2019 based on projections.

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