President Muhammadu Buhari has told West African countries to intensify effort towards achieving a single currency in the sub-region by year 2020.

He gave the charge at the West African Monetary Zone 2018 mid-year statutory meetings held in Abuja on Friday.

Represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, President Buhari promised that Nigeria is committed to providing a leadership role in assisting ECOWAS to achieve the single currency programme.

“Let me underscore that Nigeria remains committed to the integration agenda and a sustainable development of our community with the overall goal of improving the quality of life of all ECOWAS citizens,” he said.

“This is very critical because the proposed merger of WAMI (West African Monetary Institute) and WAMZ by ECOWAS commission into an ECOWAS monitory institute would leave WAMZ with no forum to exchange ideas and discuss matters of common interest to the English speaking countries in the ECOWAS,” the president said.

He emphasised the significance of the event barely 18 months to the target date for the introduction of ECOWAS single currency.

“The lessons of the euro zones for example should guide us in putting in place robust frameworks for the establishment of a durable monetary union,” President Buhari cautioned.

He noted that it is a fact that compliance with fiscal deficit criterion is the most challenging out of the four fiscal macro-economic convergence criterion for member states.

He said there is need to identify those developments that derail fiscal policy implementation in member countries and relate them to the overall objectives.