Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has said that the fact that the countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, also known by the French coinage as UEMOA, wish to take up the single currency, Eco, without consulting Nigeria.
The UEMOA zone consists of seven West African countries including Benin, Burkina, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo.
UEMOA was established with the Treaty signed in Dakar on January 10, 1994 by the Heads of State and Government of the member-countries that used the French Franc as a common currency.
Buhari in a tweet on Tuesday, indicated that these countries had decided to abandon the CFA Franc for the Eco.
His tweet read,
It gives me an uneasy feeling that the UEMOA Zone wishes to take up the Eco in replacement for its CFA Franc ahead of other ECOWAS Member States. It‘s a matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking major steps without trusting us for discussion.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) June 23, 2020
On January 16, 2020, Nigeria and several West African countries, notably English-speaking ones, denounced in Abuja the decision to replace the CFA franc with the Eco, saying that it was “not in conformity” with the program recently adopted by the entire region to establish a single currency.
“Nigeria fully supports and is committed to a monetary union with the right fundamentals—a union which guarantees credibility, sustainability and overall regional prosperity and sovereignty. But we must do things properly and ensure absolute compliance with the set standards.
“We cannot ridicule ourselves by entering a union to disintegrate, potentially no sooner than we enter into it. We need to be clear and unequivocal about our position regarding this process.
“We must also communicate same to the outside world effectively. We have all staked so much in this project to leave things to mere expediencies and convenience.
“We must proceed with caution and comply with the agreed process of reaching our collective goal while treating each other with utmost respect. Without these, our ambitions for a strategic Monetary Union as an ECOWAS bloc could very well be in serious jeopardy.”