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Nigeria, other West African countries adopt ECO single currency


President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana (left); President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau; President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali; President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire; the President, ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, President Muhammadu Buhari; President Alpha Conde of Guinea; President Mahadou Issoufou of Niger Republic; President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic during the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government Meeting at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja. PHOTO: Philip Ojisua  

The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Saturday adopted ECO as the name of the single currency to be issued in January 2020.

ECOWAS is made up of 15-member countries. They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

The leaders at their 55th Ordinary Session in Abuja endorsed the name while congratulating the Ministerial Committee on the Single Currency for the considerable progress recorded in the implementation of the revised roadmap.

In the communiqué read by Mustapha Suleiman, Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Authority instructed the ECOWAS Commission to work in collaboration with West African Monetary Agency.


The leaders also instructed the commission to work with West African Monetary Institute and the central banks to accelerate the implementation of the revised roadmap with regard to the symbol of the single currency.

The Authority also directed the commission and the central banks to accelerate the operation of the Special Fund for the financing of programmes in the revised Roadmap for the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.

“It further directs the commission to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the meeting of the ministerial committee held in Abidjan on June 17 and June 18 as well as preparation and implementation of the Communication Strategy for the single currency programme.


“The Authority takes note of the 2018 macroeconomic convergence report. It noted the worsening of the macroeconomic convergence and urges member states to do more to improve on their performance in view of the imminent deadline.”

Furthermore, the ECOWAS Chairman, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, said the revised roadmap still stipulated that the single currency would be issued in January 2020.

“We have not changed that but we will continue with assessment between now and then.

“We are of the view that countries that are ready will launch the single currency and countries that are not yet ready will join the programme as they comply with all six convergence criteria.”

He also said that there was “a real firm political will” for the region to hastily achieve the single currency.


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