President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against rushing into currency integration.
The regional body is targetting 2020 for the achievement of this goal.
But in his speech at the fourth meeting of the presidential task force on the ECOWAS currency programme, Buhari said the framework for implementing the single currency agenda in the sub-region was not as dynamic as it should be.
He said the basic economic principles that should exist among member countries are still lacking, “which would for a fact stall the progress and successful launch of the agenda by 2020″.
He alluded to the European Union’s challenges in achieving economic integration.
“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 said.
“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.
“Although the ECOWAS Commission has anchored its pursuit of the new impetus to monetary integration … we are concerned that we have not properly articulated and analysed a comprehensive picture of the state of preparedness of individual countries for monetary integration in ECOWAS by 2020.”
Buhari listed uncertainties in the macro-economic environment, including inflationary tendencies, exchange rate volatility, over-dependence on imports and foreign aids as well as laws and constitutions that govern member states as some of the challenges that could affect the implementation of the programme.