Nigeria alongside five other West African countries, have spoken against the decision by six French speaking countries to adopt the Eco in 2020. The other five West African countries are Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The rejection from Nigeria comes weeks after it released a press statement that it was “studying the situation and would respond in due course”.
It would be recalled that six French speaking countries suddenly took the decision to adopt the Eco in 2020 towards the end of December, 2019. The six countries are Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea Bissau. The move to adopt the Eco has failed severally over the years because these countries have failed to meet the primary requirements set by the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
The decision to reject by these countries was conveyed in a communique after a meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone in Abuja. Part of the communique read by Mamadi Camara, Minister for Economy and Finance for the Republic of Guinea stated that “WAMZ 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 reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government towards the implementation of the revised road map of the ECOWAS single currency program”. The Giant of Africa spearheaded this rejection stance with the other countries joining in. Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed attended the meeting.
This rejection may cause a division and face-off with Francophone countries as the Francophone countries have announced their unilateral decision to adopt the Eco in 2020.Would the Francophone countries continue with their decision to drop the CFA Franc and start using the Eco and cause a split in ECOWAS? There will definitely be a response soon.