Obasanjo wants common currency for ECOWAS

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: Ventures Africa]
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: Ventures Africa]

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday called on the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to agree on a common currency to boost regional trade.

Mr. Obasanjo made the call at the ongoing 24th Annual General Meeting of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Kigali.

He spoke on: Can Regional Economic Communities Work for Africa: Lessons from a Founding Father.

He said the issue of common currency was getting delayed because the regional leaders had put forward “ECO” as a name for the currency, but wondered why it had not been adopted.

According to him, the currency is required to move the current level of the regional trade from 25 per cent to more than 50 per cent.

He said the various currency zones like the Naira zone, the Cedi zone, among others should not be allowed to mitigate the flow of trade within the region.

He blamed too many internal conflicts and changes in policies, among others, as some of the challenges facing the region.

Mr. Obasanjo, however, lauded ECOWAS countries for their ability to resolve their issues on their own, adding that ECOWAS on its own had resolved conflicts in Liberia, Sierria Loene and The Gambia.

He said in the case of The Gambia, ECOWAS leaders agreed that a military option should be adopted but it should be without firing a bullet.

“I was sure the ousted President Yahya Jammeh will leave but when he started delaying, ECOWAS leaders met, it was agreed a military option should be adopted.

“The tactics worked and when the countries’ leaders were saying the ousted President Yahya Jammeh had left the country with huge sums of money, I told them to allow him go with the money so far he allows the country to remain in peace,” he said.

He said the region had been most democratic region going by free and fair elections done in the countries.

He told the audience that in the region, elections had been held without violence and wherever there were crisis the region had resolved such crisis peacefully.(NAN)


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  • George

    He-goat is yalking =Hear this demon from the pit of hell fire=saying the ousted President Yahya Jammeh had left the country with huge sums of money, I told them to allow him go with the money so far he allows the country to remain in peace,” he said.

    And he couldn’t said that concerning GEJ the yeye buhari want dead for no reason. Old ffffoolishhh man always want to open his smelling mouth anyhow. God will punish you and your generations.

    • Rosebud

      Obj is really old, l think he’s gone senile.

  • egoigwe

    Giving up a nation’s currency is akin to giving up a substantial part of any nation’s sovereignty and wellbeing. It’s a globalist signature tune and agendum. In so doing, stronger currencies such as our Naira get weakened as we bear the brunt that goes along with levelling weaker currencies that come into the mix.

    It’s a most unpatriotic thing that this man advocates. He advocates in simple terms that we peg our entire economy to the unstable fluctuations of ECOWAS nations and that of their economies. This is what will be brought to the mix, along with the oversight ventures of countries like France, the UK, Belgium, the US et al.

    His gospel is for the imposition of neocolonialism. A prayer that we throw our currency into a basket of lesser currencies buoyed, indebted to and regulated by all manners of nations to which we bear no allegiance or responsibility. What did Nigeria do to this man to deserve his advocacy of such intense wickedness and hatred?

    Don’t we have enough debt on our national plate for anyone to be advocating that we serve up what’s left of our economic wellbeing as collateral to deeply indebted nations? What was he thinking ever??? There’s no doubt now, that this horrible man is indeed an agent of the banking cartels that drives our world to penury and economic slavery.

    Who will rid us of this vampire that comes cloaked in human skin???

    • AbdulHamid Adiamoh

      The Naira is the weakest currency in the region though.

      • AryLoyds

        PLEASE ignore that mumu

      • egoigwe

        Thank you Hamid. May l start by asking what your parameters are for your determination? Bank rate indices? If it is, then respectfully, l must beg to differ. Bank rates are a small angle to the whole picture.

        Local currencies can be powerful drivers of national economies whereas bank rates are drivers of international trade. If you have a national addiction for international trade, especially one that tilts to a side, you lose productive instincts.

        Income isn’t necessarily glued to international trade. Domestic production spurs export and feeds local market size. Domestic trade is an economic stimulus that powers internal and external fiscal impulses.

        Now, for me, the strength of any currency is measured by the scope of its purchasing power within the country of origin. Not by the volume of auxiliary currencies it purchases abroad. Bank rates and its determinant or regulatory appendages are dubious. But still, it’s the wellbeing of a country’s local currency that makes for a robust rate.

        So, how do you attain a robust rate without first growing your economy? One thing goes before the other. If you go borrowing without the fiscal infrastructure or economic architecture to absorb that debt, you impoverish the country and grow debt. Obasanjo advocates a position that places us in a basket of assorted debts and l say, why not mind our national debt and get on with our national life.

        Conversely, if you say our currency is the bad apple amongst the bunch, Obasanjo will have to confess to a scam. You simply imply that we intend to feed off those stronger currencies. This cannot be true or intended, neither are the beneficiaries of a stronger currency going to acquiesce.

        Poor rates are not a static phenomenon nor do they always come about as a result of poor policy choice, external pulsing most times are the dominant influence. Active currencies are always subject to fluctuations. Fluctuations are not indicators of currency strength. A rapidly expanding economy fluctuates before growth.

        Obj borrowed in 79, he did not pay back. He borrowed all through his second coming, he did not pay back, never mind Okonjo’s economic illusions. Obasanjo is not in a position to advocate or recommend anything that pertains to our socioeconomic and political standing, and he knows it.

        Obj merely took a trip in search of elderly relevance; grandstanding fantasia.

        • Rosebud

          My sister, God bless you.

          Long story short, rates na wetin oyibo man talk say you must pay if you wan buy him money, na market. The man no gree say you go pay am direct with your own money, you must carry your money go buy him own. Why? No be the same money? Na because bank go collect commission, dem come share on top put.

          Dem go hide for bank back, come say, tell am make e bring plenti, plenti oil and land for farm before you giam money. Now, Obj dey talk say make we jump enter hot water, make we follow share debt for all ecowas people plus our own. Why? We follow dem borrow money? Why we no go face our own wahala. Na wetin, my better sister, Egoigwe, dey ask so. Na wetin she wan make we understand.

  • Rominiyis

    How does this man hope to prevent counterfeit in a region with no security?. They just copy ideas without studying how long it takes and the infrastructures in place for it to work in Europe or wherever they are copying from. No water, no electricity, no security, no roads he worries about common currencies. Couldnt even get Lagos , Sango Ota ,Abeokuta expressway fixed in 8 years as president and that road lead to his farm from Lagos!