President Muhammadu Buhari has handed over the chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the President of the Republic of Niger, Muhammadu Issoufou.
The Niger’s President was announced as the new chair of the Authority during of the closing ceremony of the 55th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja on Saturday. The West African leaders had elected Issoufou after their closed door deliberations, where they also discussed issues ranging from insecurity and economic challenges facing the region.
In his remarks, the new chair of the Authority, commended President Buhari for his enormous contribution to the integration efforts of the sub-region and promised to consolidate the efforts .
Meanwhile the West African leaders had adopted Eco as the name of the proposed single currency for the community to be issued in January 2020 even as they lauded the Ministerial Committee on the single currency for the considerable progress recorded in the implementation of the revised roadmap.
Reading the Communique at the end of deliberations, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman, said the Authority had instructed the ECOWAS Commission to “collaborate with the West African Monetary Agency for the implementation and also instructed the commission to work with the West African Monetary Institute and central banks to accelerate the implementation of the revised roadmap with regards to the symbol of the single currency.”
The Authority also directed the Commission and the central banks to accelerate operation of the Special Fund for financing of programmes in the revised roadmap for the single currency programme.
It further directed the Commission to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the meeting of the Ministerial Committee held in Abidjan on June 17 and June 18 as well as proposal for the implementation of the communication strategy for single currency programme.
The new chair of the Authority also urged member states to strive towards meeting the six convergence criteria for the single currency before the deadline, stressing that those who met the criteria could commence the take off of the single currency. He also tasked them to improve the macroeconomic convergence of the community.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja