ECOWAS single currency, my top priority – Niger Republic President

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority Heads of Government, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic, has said that the implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency in 2020 is his top priority under his leadership.

President Mahamadou stated this during his one-day working visit to the ECOWAS Commission and other ECOWAS institutions in Abuja, Nigeria.

President Mahamadou listed three priorities areas as his  focus as the Chairman  of the Authority of Heads of Government which include consolidation of democratic institutions, regional peace and security and most the implementation of ECO as region’s single currency.

He explained that the creation of the single currency in 2020 will be an important instrument for achieving the economic and political integration of the West-Africa region.

“I would like during this term of office to see significant progress in at least three areas to which I will give high priority: the consolidation of democratic institutions, regional peace and security, according to the Nigerien President, according to President Mahamadou”

 “And the economic integration of our States, particularly infrastructure programmes and the common currency. I would like you to focus on these three priority areas,”

“Of all the projects I have just mentioned, if I were asked to mention just one that I would like to see significant progress, during my term of office I would say the single currency,”

“This means that its roadmap must have a precise timetable for implementation with strict deadlines,” President Mahamadu emphasised.

To strengthen democracy and political governance within the sub-region, Mahamadou urged Member to continue actions in accordance with relevant protocols in the organisation of transparent and credible elections, a guarantee of peace and stability.

He explained that these actions should include assisting countries in difficult political situations, through mediation interventions.

President Mahamadou said that the region was currently facing security challenges related to maritime piracy, terrorism and organized crime, a situation which if it persists, is likely to undermine progresses and development action of the sub-region.

He said that it is within this framework that the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled to hold on September 14 in Burkina Faso will focus on the security situation in the Sahel.

The Nigerien President said the summit would enable Member States reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the fight against terrorism and refine the regional strategy to deal with it.

The Chairman of the regional body also said that in achieving regional integration, his leadership would focus on infrastructure, monetary Union, agriculture, free movement of goods and services and social development.

He noted that the construction of socio-economic infrastructure remains an urgent need for our region, as it is a factor in accelerating economic growth.

In an interview with journalists at the end of the visit, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. OkJean-Claude Brou lauded the visit of President Mahamoudu to the commission and other institutions.

Mr. Brou said that the Commission has helped Member States to make both economic and social progress at the national level and have contributed to the consolidation of the region’s economic growth to over 3% in 2018.

He however stated that the region is still faced with a lot of challenges and to respond to them in a sustainable way with reflections and actions already initiated at the level of the various Departments.

Mr. Brou said that significant development has been made in ensuring implementation of the single currency since the last Heads of Authority summit in June in Abuja, Nigeria..

“The single currency is in the regional integration agenda and as was indicated, there were several addresses that were made, very key issues were resolved.

 “The issues that were really outstanding but we were able to find a solution, for example what is the name of the currency, the model that would work for the region, what should be the monetary policy framework that would be for the single central bank.

“All those key issues were raised at the last summit of the Authority of Heads of States so I think those decisions shows that we are making strong progress.

“It was indicated in the last summit that it is important that to achieving the entire all the aspect towards the single currency it is important that the micro economy convergence be fully met by member countries.

“And that a strong commitment from all Member States for the convergence because it is a key element,” Brou explained.

The high-level visit by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority Heads of Government, President Issoufou was aimed at assessing the implementation of the major integration projects, note the progress and challenges to be met in order to achieve ECOWAS’ objectives.

Peace PIAK