Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Sunday urged the federal government not to make the adoption of the common currency ECO a priority.
Yusuf told the Nigerian news agency (NAN) that important economic problems require the attention of the government.
“For us in Nigeria, adopting the eco on the issue of monetary union should not be a priority for the moment. There are more important questions to be resolved with regard to economic integration.
“We have to do the right sequencing. We are still grappling with the challenges of the preliminary stages of economic integration, the free trade area and the customs union.
“There is a higher level of common market before we talk about monetary union, where we have the adoption of a common currency. The reality is that the pace of economic integration in ECOWAS has been very slow, ” said the LCCI boss.
Yusuf advised the government to ensure that it builds a strong, diverse, competitive and inclusive economy.
According to him, a virile economy is essential to a beneficial participation in international trade, whether at sub-regional, continental or global level.
Professor Ndubisi Nwokoma, director of the Center for Economic Policy Analysis and Research (CEPAR) at the University of Lagos, also advised the federal government to withdraw from the adoption of the common currency.
He said: “What the French-speaking countries have done by renaming their own CFA franc to Eco and asking Nigeria to join is an anomaly and a trap. So the government of Nigeria should not join. ”
The finance ministers and central bank governors of the member states of the West African monetary zone (WAMZ) had, during a meeting in Abuja, denounced the change of name of the CFA to Eco.
A press release dated January 16 signed by Mamadi Camara, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, noted with concern the statement by Alasane Outtarra, President of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA franc “Eco” by 2020.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasize that this action is not in accordance with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of” Eco “as the name a single currency independent of ECOWAS.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS concerning the implementation of the roadmap revised ECOWAS Single Currency Program.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an extraordinary summit of the authority of the heads of state and government of the WAMZ member states be convened soon to discuss this and other related matters”, a- he declared.
Present were Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia, Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance of Ghana, Samuel Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance and Development Planning of Liberia, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, of Budget and National Planning, Nigeria and Jacob Shaffa, Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone.
Others were Buah Saidy Central Bank of the Gambia, Ernest Addison Central Bank of Ghana, Louncenry Nabe Central Bank of Guinea and Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia and Godwin Emefiele Central Bank of Nigeria and Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone.
Eight West African countries had agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco, effectively breaking the links of the CFA franc with former colonial France.
Countries include the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.