FG says ‘extension’ needed on West Africa currency launch

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West African powerhouse Nigeria on Monday called for a delay to the launch of a region-wide currency tentatively scheduled to come into effect this year.

“Nigeria’s position on the Eco currency is that the convergence criteria have not been met by majority of the countries,” the country’s presidency said on Twitter.

“There, therefore, has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency.”

West African regional bloc ECOWAS last year said it intended to introduce a common currency called the Eco in 2020.

The announcement capped decades of discussions and postponements.

But the push was then overshadowed in December by an announcement by mainly French-speaking countries in the region that they would rename their CFA franc joint currency as the Eco this year as they look to cut monetary ties with former colonial ruler France.

English-speaking nations led by Africa’s most populous country Nigeria criticised that move and said it was not in line with the initiative for the broader currency.

Nigeria has said that so far only one country in the region, Togo, has met a set of tough ECOWAS monetary and economic criteria to allow it to join the one proposed.

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