Member countries of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) should redouble their efforts towards meeting all the revised macroeconomic convergence criteria needed to launch the proposed monetary union in the region, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said.
Speaking in Abuja, while addressing the 31st meeting of the Committee of Governors of the WAMZ, comprising Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, Emefiele bemoaned the current level of preparedness, which he described as inadequate adding that the initial 2015 take-off date had become unrealistic.
He said results of the state of readiness study, which was inaugurated by the 32nd meeting of the Convergence Council revealed performance of member states on the convergence scale relative to what is required for the establishment of a monetary union remained inadequate.
He added: “Also member countries’ business cycle synchronisation in terms of real GDP, inflation, broad money and interest rates remained weak, and their level of institutional preparedness for the monetary union remains inadequate.”
He added: “As central banks and financial sector regulators, we must commit to develop and support sound banking system and efficient, reliable and integrated payments network, capable of facilitating the required rapid trade expansion in the sub-region.
Emefiele however, commended member countries’ remarkable progress towards the establishment of a common market and the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Integration Protocols and Convention as well as significant progress towards the reforms of their financial systems.
The CBN boss also called for effective co-ordination between fiscal and monetary policies “to support our price stability mandate, as well as create the appropriate macroeconomic environment conducive for intra-regional trade and economic development in the zone.
“To that end, we must double efforts towards implementing the framework for quoting and trading in WAMZ member countries’ currencies to improve trade integration.”