Again, President Buhari calls the change of CFA to Eco “A Risky Move”, calls for another meeting to embark on peaceful deliberation.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday made remarks on the status of the planned single currency for the Economic Community of West African States.
He said the plan for the single currency, Eco, may be in a serious risk of being manipulated by francophone countries due to pressure to change CFA to ECO without the approval of member states.
The Eco currency is the proposed name for a single currency that the West African Monetary Zone plans to introduce among member states of ECOWAS.
According to a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He stated the position of Nigeria at a remarkable virtual meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone.
Buhari expressed his concern towards the sudden move by UEMOA after meeting with the French President to change CFA to Eco.
He said, “It gives me an uneasy feeling that the UEMOA Zone now wishes to take up the Eco in replacement for its CFA Franc ahead of the rest of the member states.
“This is in addition to deviating from the Community Act on a consistent attainment of convergence in the three years running up to the introduction of the currency, and our subsequent reinforcing directives.
“I am informed that the French ministers have approved a bill to reform the CFA Franc and most, if not all of the UEMOA member states, have already passed legislations in their various parliaments to that effect.”
Going further he said, “It is a matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking these major steps without trusting us for discussion.
“We cannot ridicule ourselves by entering a union to disintegrate, potentially no sooner than we enter into it.
“We need to be clear and unequivocal about our position regarding this process. We have all staked so much in this project to leave things to mere expediencies and convenience.
“We must proceed with caution and comply with the agreed process of reaching our collective goal while treating each other with utmost respect.
“Without these, our ambitions for a strategic monetary union as an ECOWAS bloc could very well be in serious jeopardy.”
In other to ensure that the intentions of ECOWAS is met, the leaders resolved to have another meeting of the regional bloc on the single currency issue.
A former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, also expressed concern towards the issue noting that it was wrong for the francophone countries to take the decision to replace the CFA Franc with Eco.
“They have simply gone ahead to create a fait accompli. It is not good for Nigeria. It has taken the leadership process from Nigeria, which accounts for up to 70 per cent of West Africa’s GDP.”