Emefiele emerges chairman of ECOWAS committee of central bank governors

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Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been elected chairman of Committee of Central Bank Governors of the ECOWAS sub-region, according to reports from The Nation.

Mr. Emefiele was elected by fellows central bank governors from ECOWAS countries at the 31st Meeting of the Committee of Governors of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Speaking after his emergence as the Chairman of the elite committee, Emefiele hinted that the January 1, 2015 date for the sub-regions monetary union may not be realized. Emefiele lamented to his fellow governors that “over the years, appraisals have continued to show that the level of macroeconomic convergence in the Zone remained inadequate relative to the set targets.”

According to him, “since 2009, no two countries satisfied all the four primary convergence criteria consistently for two consecutive years. Accordingly, we have missed several launch dates for the monetary union.” This development he said “may have informed the decision of the Heads of State and Government to approve the Modified Gradualist Approach to monetary integration by 2020.”

Emefiele noted that “the performance of Member States’ on the convergence scale relative to that required for the establishment of a monetary union is still inadequate. ”

Also member countries’ business cycle synchronization in terms of real GDP, inflation, broad money and interest rates remained weak, and their level of institutional preparedness for the monetary union remain inadequate.”

He then urged other central bank governors “to objectively examine the numerous challenges before us, assess the state of preparedness of Member States for monetary integration at short notice, and realistically appraise the directive of the Heads of State and Government for a Modified Gradualist Approach to monetary Integration by 2020.”

Their role he stated, “is to honestly appraise this directive and design strategies to ensure a sustainable monetary union in the zone.”

In doing this, Emefiele urged other ECOWAS countries “to think outside the box, realistically assessing and providing innovative options as well as the costs and benefits of implementing the Modified Gradualist Approach.”

He however said that member countries “have continued to make remarkable progress towards the establishment of a common market and the implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Integration Protocols and Convention as well as significant progress towards the reforms of their financial systems.”

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