Dip in Nigeria’s currency a blow to Ecowas agenda

Sunday December 11 2016
naira PIX

The depreciation of the naira and economic challenges affecting member states have stalled Ecowas integration and the adoption of a single regional currency, Eko.

According to the out-going Ecowas Macroeconomic Policy Committee chairperson, Ms Ommy Sar Ndaiye, the member-states need to develop strategies to address the prevailing economic challenges

The committee met last week in Abuja, Nigeria where the integration and the adoption of a single currency were the focal issues.

Weighs heavily

Although the commission had made progress in its macroeconomic policies, Ms Ndaiye noted that the depreciation of the naira and a downturn in other states had greatly affected the bloc.

“We all know that whatever happens in Nigeria weighs heavily on our economies.


“If there are challenges there, it would reflect on the region,” she said.

Poor state

She urged the committee to make recommendations that would strengthen the integration and development and could also be implemented through the policies of member states.

The Ecowas Commissioner, Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Mr Mamadou Traore, said that the 2015 report on the region's macroeconomic convergence showed a slowdown compared to 2014.

Mr Traore said the lack of raw materials, poor state of infrastructure in member states and the depreciation of the naira contributed to the slow growth rate.

Get an update

He said that that despite measures by the commission, the Ecowas economy “is still vulnerable to external shocks”.

The member countries, Mr Traore said, should establish the causes of the sub-region's vulnerability.

“Member states should get an update of implementation of the Ecowas single currency programme."

Ecowas had set 2020 to achieve a single currency for the region after many postponements.