Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have agreed to launch ECO, its proposed single currency, in 2020.
The heads of the 15-member countries reached this decision on Saturday at its 55th ordinary session in Abuja to review progress on integration.
The community also agreed that a flexible currency regime will be adopted.
In a communique read by Mustapha Suleiman, Nigeria’s permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs, the regional body was instructed to collaborate with West African Monetary Agency, West African Monetary Institute, and West African Central Banks for speedy implementation of the revised road-map.
Nigeria, which is the largest ECOWAS economy, operates a managed float currency, while other states in the region have their currencies pegged to the euro.
ECOWAS urged members to work towards eliminating trade barriers.
The body acknowledged the worsening macroeconomic convergence among member states but urged members to improve performance especially as the deadline for setting up a monetary union nears.
Member countries have been discussing regional integration for the past decade.
In 2003, ECOWAS members agreed that a harmonised passport would ease travel across the region and Nigeria began issuance of the travel document in July 2007.