WAMZ Faces Prolonged Timeline for Single Currency Amid Declining Convergence Indicators

Dr. Olorunsola Olowofeso, the Director General of the West African Monetary Zones (WAMZ), has expressed that the pursuit of a single currency within the WAMZ region will require significantly more time to achieve due to a notable decline in convergence indicators.

During the 51st ordinary session of WAMZ in Abuja, Dr. Olowofeso revealed that by the end of June 2023, all WAMZ Member States fell short of meeting the four primary convergence criteria. He highlighted a decline in the Zone’s performance score from 41.7 percent in 2022 to 29.2 percent in 2023.

Furthermore, he emphasized that the medium-term projections on macroeconomic convergence suggest that none of the WAMZ Member states will meet all four primary convergence criteria on a sustainable basis for the remaining three years (2024-2026) of the ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap (2021-2027).

Mr. Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and now the WAMZ Convergence Council Chairman, echoed the need for intensified efforts to realize the objectives of the regional bloc. He acknowledged the challenges faced by member countries and emphasized the importance of cooperation, planning, and prioritization to advance the regional agenda.

Despite these efforts, challenges such as disrupted planting activities, fuel subsidy removal, exchange rate depreciation, and escalating logistic costs have hindered overall productivity within Nigeria. This, coupled with challenges faced by other WAMZ countries, suggests a prolonged timeline for the realization of the ECOWAS single currency project.

Quest: Cris-Edesiri Odjomah

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