Single Currency Regime for West Africa
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Just a few days ago, Sheriff Quadry in a conversation with Taiwo Oyedele on 99.3 Nigeria Info. During the conversation we found out that the Bill is yet to go into effect in Nigeria.
This morning, the duo takes a look at the ECO currency which is said to be a panacea for the economic woes ravaging Africa. The Eco is the proposed name for the common currency that the West African Monetary Zone plans to introduce in the framework of the Economic Community of West African States. After its introduction, the goal is to replace the West African CFA franc with the new currency.
Fifteen West African countries have agreed to join in implementing this currency. The negotiation has been in the works for about 20 years. However, some African countries are worried about the process of fixing the new ECO currency to the Euro.
But these government are looking at how to make Africa better integrated to the rest of the world.
Taiwo, when reflecting about the need for the ECO currency examines the history of ECOWAS.
“Many countries in the West African region started to come together in 1975. These countries were small but they thought if they came together, they could be more powerful. These countries came together to form ECOWAS because they believed there is strength in size.
“The founders of ECOWAS wanted to promote regional integration, remove barriers to trade, liberalize services, promote investment, capital and facilitate free movement of people. They want prosperity for the people of West Africa and they wanted to have a unifying currency so that they can trade with themselves better,” Taiwo remarks.
Ibukun explains further why Nigerian government is concerned about the process of fixing the ECO to the Euro. “The thought and the declaration that ECO will be tied to Franc came as a surprise to many people. Next, Africans should look at their readiness. In some areas, Nigeria does well but a majority of the other countries are not matching up. We are simply not ready. ECOWAS doesn’t have an integrated payment method. So, this move is designed to fail.”
Taiwo agrees that Nigeria is more vulnerable if the ECO goes into effect. In the GDP level, Nigeria doesn’t measure up. The country is also not ready in other ways. He also pointed out that some Euro-zone countries that are developed are also struggling.
As the show progresses, Sheriff opens up the phone lines and Nigerians are able to make their mixed opinions made.
Ochuko Ijumah Christopher, commenting on Nigeria Info FM Facebook page wrote that Anti-Christ is on the way. "Very soon the world will start using single currency, then there (will) come full inflammation of anti christ. 666.
But if ECO goes into full effect now badly will it affect Nigeria? Join the show and make your comments. Play the video above.
Taiwo Oyedele is Partner, Tax Policy and West Africa Tax Leader, PwC /Member of the ministerial committee on the implementation of Nigeria's National Tax Policy