The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has debunked the notion of division in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) between the Anglophone and Francophone countries within the regional bloc in its bid to bring about a single currency for the region.
The Minister made this known after a meeting with the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou in Abuja.
According to him, ECOWAS will convene a larger meeting of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government to ensure that all the member states of ECOWAS were on the same page.
“That is a whole point of organising this meeting very quickly so that we can dispel that notion that there is a division.
“So, the sooner a meeting can be organised of all the heads of state, then we will be in a better position to dispel this notion that somehow, there is this division between the various groups. ECOWAS is one,” he explained.
The ECOWAS Commission President said the regional bloc would continue work together on single currency issue in order to achieve the objective.
“I think we made very good progress in recent months and we continue to work collectively all together so that we can achieve what our principals have set,” Brou said.
The Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zaina Ahmed said Nigeria’s inability to meet the convergence criteria was responsible for the delay in achieving the regional single currency.
“We are all struggling with trying to stabilise the exchange rate, trying to also make sure that our debts are at manageable levels.
“So, we have to discuss whether the roadmap will stay as it is or we may have to change and move the roadmap forward,” she said.
According to her, that is a decision that the President will take, when they meet.