Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Central Bank Governor, on Wednesday blamed the delay in the take off of the African single currency on the global economic crisis.
Sanusi said this at the first ordinary meeting of the Bureau of Association of African Central Banks (AACB) in Abuja.
According to him, the crisis has impacted negatively on African economies.
The Central Bank governors of the West African Monetary Zone had set Jan. 1, 2015 for the take off of a single currency.
``In West Africa, the ECOWAS Cooperation Programme (EMCP), provides the road map for establishing the monetary union and a single currency.
``Caused in part by the global financial crisis that impacted adversely on member economies since late 2007, the EMCP has remained stagnant in 2011,’’ Sanusi said.
EMCP is a critical pillar of the African Monetary Cooperation Programme (AMCP) that was adopted by the government of member states in 1987.
He said that member countries met the prescribed targets for all primary criteria, except the criterion on financing budget deficit by their respective central banks.
The CBN governor lamented that public finance continued to deteriorate generally and that the criterion on deficit was met by six, out of seven countries, in the first half of 2010.
``On the soaring prices of food and energy on the international market, only seven countries met the criterion on inflation as against 11 during the same period in 2010.
``Ten countries satisfied the criterion on foreign reserves against eleven in the previous year,’’ he said.
According to him, there is a need for relevant authorities to remain on guard since the threat of the global financial crisis is still around.
Sanusi advised African economies to fight the global financial crisis with sound economic policies.
He also urged them to ensure collaborative measures to contain possible adverse effects of the crisis.
According to him, this will help to return the economies to the path of sustainable growth.
The AACB meeting, he said, underscored the importance of giving more impetus to the preparation of the study on the strategy for the creation of an African Central Bank.
He said Nigeria was commitment to the establishment of an African Central Bank.
In his remarks, Dr Maxwell Nkwezelamba, African Union Commissioner of Economic Affairs, commended the effort of the AACB towards ensuring economic growth in the region.
``I wish to thank the excellent collaboration that exists between the AACB and the African Union Commission on the work leading to the preparation of the joint strategy on the establishment of the African Central bank,’’ he said.
He said that there was a need for the work to be completed in good time, adding that the study group for the actualisation of the project should be adequately funded.
Nkwezelamba promised athat the commission would play its role by providing adequate support.
Also speaking, Dr Perks Ligoya, Governor, Reserved Bank of Malawi and Chairman of AACB, drew the attention of the association to the challenges facing African economies.
``As we start our meeting, I want us to think about what is happening in Africa and what is happening in the world and link that to the relevance of our institution,’’ he said.
Ligoya said the political crises in some African states had negatively impacted on the economy of the continent and challenged the association to develop an interest in the happenings in the region. (NAN)