President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed displeasure at plans by Francophone West Africa (UEMOA) to adopt the new ECO currency over the CFA.
Buhari revealed this, via his Twitter handle, calling it a “matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking major steps without trusting us for discussion.”
Buhari added that Nigeria is committed to a West African Monetary union with the “right fundamentals” guaranteeing credibility, sustainability, prosperity and sovereignty. He called for compliance with the process.
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“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,” Buhari stated.
The President called for collective and effective communication from the region to the world, saying that too much has been invested in the project “to leave things to mere expediencies.”
He urged the region to proceed with caution and comply “with the agreed process of reaching our collective goal while treating each other with utmost respect,” while adding that the dream of a strategic monetary union will be in jeopardy without these.
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On May 20th, France agreed to end its engagement with pegging the West African CFA Franc. The countries in the agreement will no longer have to deposit half of their foreign reserves with France and agreed to the adoption of a new “ECO” currency. Hence, France’s new role with the currency will only be as “ financial guarantors.”
President Buhari’s displeasure in the new currency is because it breaches agreements on a single currency for the region.
However, in 2019, while Francophone West Africa commenced negotiations on the ECO, Nigeria closed its borders for trade with the region, reducing Nigeria’s leverage in appealing for a single currency for the region.
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It gives me an uneasy feeling that the UEMOA Zone wishes to take up the Eco in replacement for its CFA Franc ahead of other ECOWAS Member States. It‘s a matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking major steps without trusting us for discussion.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) June 23, 2020
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