By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA—Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, will make a final decision on the operational take-off of a single currency soon.
This will come after the submission of the report on the currency by the Task Force on ECOWAS single currency to the heads of state during its mid-term summit later this month.
The Head of ECOWAS National Unit in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Musa Nuhu, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, said there was also a committee of Governors of Central Banks in West Africa working on the single currency for the region.
He said: “Hopefully, we will be able to hear the latest, because all the committees of Central Bank are working and then the Presidential Task Force to is working, so they will present a report to the authority of Heads of State during next mid-term summit coming up by the end of June.”
Nuhu explained that after the summit, it would be confirmed if the region could achieve 2020 set target for a single currency.
“So we are expecting a report to be submitted to the authority of heads of state during the mid-term summit coming soon.
‘We are sure that during the summit, we will hear the latest on single currency when they will submit their reports.
“Well, the deadline is up to December 2020, but from the look of things, nobody will tell you whether we are very sure that we will meet that target, maybe it can be extended or it can be achieved. But for now, we don’t know, it’s only during the summit that we will be able to hear the latest report from the various committees working on realizing the 2020 target,’’ he said.
The Presidential Task Force on ECOWAS Single Currency is headed by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou.
Nuhu also spoke on the initiative by the ECOWAS chairman, President Muhammadu Buhari, to resolve the political crisis in Guinea Bissau.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Envoy, the immediate past Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had led a delegation on a peace mission to Guinea Bissau.
Nuhu said: “The special mission, led by Mr Onyeama, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, was the seventh mission to Guinea Bissau regarding their political crisis.
“The visit was a result of the crisis they are having regarding the election of principal officers at the National Assembly.’’
He disclosed that Nigeria contributed immensely to the success of the election in Guinea Bissau and would, therefore, not allow democracy to fail in that country.
“Nigerian government provided $500,000, ECOWAS too provided some funds; international community donated some funds for them to make sure the election was achieved. Apart from funds, the Nigerian government even provided vehicles, Hilux vans and motorcycles,’’ he added.