The economy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) grew by 3.1% as at the end of the second quarter of 2019 and it’s expected to hit 3.3% by the end of the year.
According to Punch, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, while speaking at the opening session of a meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks on the currency programme, disclosed that in spite the vulnerability of the global economy, the ECOWAS sub-region was making progress in its growth trajectory.
Mrs Ahmed stated that the improved economic performance could be attributed to relative stability in commodities’ prices and greater investment in agriculture and the services sector. However, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kasi, in his welcome address stressed that in spite of the progress made, there was still much work to be done.
Jean-Claude Kassi, speaking on the plan to achieve a single currency for the West African region, said that member-countries had made significant progress in several areas to achieve the monetary convergence. However, as earlier published on Nairametrics, only Togo had met the criteria for monetary convergence with the region.
Meanwhile, Mrs Ahmed speaking on the domestic front, disclosed that the Nigerian economy was recording improvement also, and the Nigerian Government was implementing various reforms to enable the country achieve its targets for the monetary marriage.
On the issue of border closure, she said Nigeria shut its land borders to neighbouring countries because of their failure to obey trade agreements. She added that while Nigeria attached great importance to trade liberalisation, countries must be able to respect global trade commitments.
Finally, she told members of the committee that Nigeria decided to take the agonizing but pre-emptive steps to check the smuggling threats, which if left unchecked, would affect Nigeria’s competitiveness and that of the entire West African sub-region.