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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned against a hasty adoption of a single currency by member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Expressing his position on the issue, Buhari stated:
“I attended the 4th Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on ECOWAS Single Currency. I urged ECOWAS countries to proceed with caution regarding the push for a single regional currency by 2020.
“Regarding integration, it is important to take into consideration our varying economic conditions, as well as the lessons currently unfolding in the European Union.
“Nigeria will caution against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting pertinent issues. Our view is that ECOWAS member states are not yet fully prepared for a monetary union. This has always been one of Nigeria’s primary concerns. We must not lower the criteria or be in a hurry simply because we want to achieve a monetary union. There is still a lot of work to be done
“Nigeria’s recommendation is for the constitution of an expert committee to come up with an acceptable Roadmap, and timelines and budget.
That said, the integration agenda is a welcome one, and Nigeria will surely play a leading role—as long as all concerns are properly addressed.”
Nigeria is a leading member of ECOWAS and any monetary union for the sub-region would have ramifications for its economy.