Business News of 2014-07-09

Veep calls for harmonization of ECOWAS currency

Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Tuesday appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Task Force on monetary co-operation, to work assiduously to achieve their 2020 convergence point.

He said the achievement of a common currency for the sub-region was crucial for inter and intra-trade among member-countries, to increase the production of goods and services.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the appeal when members of the Task Force called on him at the Flagstaff House, after two days of strenuous meetings in Accra to fine-tune their recommendations.

During their ordinary session in July 2013 in Abuja, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and government directed the President of the ECOWAS Commission to make efforts to expedite action on the harmonization of the macro-economic policies, and take necessary measures to ensure effective second monetary zone.

The extra-ordinary summit of Heads of State and government on October 25, 2013 in Dakar also appointed President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana to oversee the creation of the currency in a timely manner.

The call on Vice President was, therefore, to present their recommendations in a closed door- meeting.

The Vice President urged the Task Force to implement all the necessary measures that would enhance the achievements of the convergence point in 2020.

"We cannot exceed our mandate, but there is the need to work assiduously to achieve our targets that will enhance the creation of the convergence point in the coming years."

He commended them for their performance so far, and urged them to work relentlessly to achieve targets.

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance who led the delegation to the Presidency, said the second meeting of the Task Force was convened to implement the directive of the Authority of Heads of State to review the micro-economic convergence criteria, rationalization of the institutions and revision of the road map on the ECOWAS single currency programme.

He said they would also make proposals to the two Presidents on the issues on the macroeconomic criteria.