Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has assured that there is no division between the Anglophone and Francophone countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its bid to bring about a single currency for the region.
Speaking after a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, Onyeama said 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,’ the foreign minister said.
‘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.’
On his part, the ECOWAS Commission President said the meeting discussed the single currency issue and as ECOWAS had done in the past, it will continue to work together to move the process forward.
‘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.
Speaking earlier, Finance Minister 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. And that is a decision that the President will take,’ Ahmed said.