The Federal Government says it is studying the situation on change of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) currency, Eco, to be used as ECOWAS single currency.
Concise News reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed,made this known in a statement by Yunusa Abdullahi, her Special Adviser, Media and Communication, in Abuja on Monday.
Eight West African countries have 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, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
This was announced by Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast.
All of these African countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
Reacting on this development, Ahmed said Nigeria as a country would respond in due course.
“To the news of the change of name of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) currency, the Communate Financiere d’ Afrique (CFA) to Eco, supposedly as the ECOWAS single currency.”
Ghana wants in on the ECO
Meanwhile, Ghana is determined to join the Eco, which is expected to replace the CFA Franc as early as 2020, according to a statement from the presidency.
“It will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity, and raise the living standards of our people,” Sunday’s statement read.
On December 21 Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced that the eight-member West African Economic and Monetary Union, made up of mainly Francophone countries and Guinea Bissau, would discontinue the use of the CFA Franc in favor of a new common currency.
The union will keep its euro peg, while currency reserves currently in France will be moved. The former colonial power will also no longer have a seat on the board of the central bank.
Ghana urged members of ECOWAS, or the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, to work rapidly toward implementing the decisions taken by the regional body, including the adoption of a flexible exchange rate regime, instituting a federal system for the ECOWAS Central Bank, and other related agreed convergence criteria.
Ghana is a member of Ecowas but not the West African monetary union.