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Nigeria, five other West African countries kick against ‘Eco’ as regional currency

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Toby Prince with Agency reports

Nigeria and some other West African Contries have kicked against the adoption of Eco as regional currency.

This is contained in a communique read by Mr Mamadi CAMARA, the Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea in Abuja on Thursday.

The communique was issued after an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the the Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).

CAMARA said the the meeting noted with concern, the declaration by Alasane Outtarra, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on Dec. 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020.

“WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is 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.

“WAMZ Convergence Council re-iterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government toward the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.

“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends 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,” he said.

According to him, those at the meeting are, Mambury Njie, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia, and Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance of Ghana.

Others were Samuel Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Liberia, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nigeria, and Jacob Shaffa, the Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone.

Also in attendance were Mr Buah Saidy Central Bank of Gambia, Ernest Addison Central Bank of Ghana, Louncenry Nabe Central Bank of Guniea and Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia and Godwin Emefiele Central Bank of Nigeria and Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that eight West African countries had agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco, thereby effectively severing the CFA franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.

The countries include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

This was announced by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Cote d’Ivoire.

All of these African countries are former French colonies, except Guinea-Bissau.

Following that announcement, Nigeria reacted with a promise to make her position on the proposed West African currency known in due course.

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