Nigeria has urged member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to rethink their desire to have a single currency in the sub-region by 2020.
That was the key submission of President Muhammadu Buhari at the 4th Presidential Task Force meeting of the sub-regional body on common currency for member states.
The meeting held on Tuesday in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger Republic make up the Task Force. Buhari cited the challenges faced by the European Union in realising the same goal to back up his point.
The Nigerian leader said the necessary economic fundamentals among countries continue to differ over the years, making it more difficult to pull through with the project by 2020.
"Nigeria advises that we proceed cautiously with the integration agenda, taking into consideration the above concerns and the lessons currently unfolding in the European Union,” Buhari’s media aide Femi Adesina quoted the president as saying.
"To that end, Nigeria will caution against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting fundamentals and other pertinent issues.”
Buhari noted that some of the obstacles to realising the roadmap for the implementation of a single currency include diverse and uncertain macro-economic fundamentals of many countries, unrealistic inflation targeting based on flexible exchange rate regime and inconsistency with the African Monetary Co-operation Programme.
The President said domestic issues in ECOWAS member countries relating to their constitutions and dependence on aids continue to affect the framework for implementing the single currency in the sub-region.