Will Eco Free Us From The Shackles of The Naira?

July 3, 2019

Short answer: Not yet

Alternate short answer: at least not in 2020 sha.

It doesn’t matter if you just won 45 million Naira after spending 90 days locked away with alleged fence jumpers. Or if your Liverpool predictions finally came through with BonanzaBet. If there’s anything sure to ruin your day, it will definitely be converting your earnings into Dollars.

Goes without saying, any chance to have anyone beside Awolowo and the likes staring you down when you open your wallet would be a welcome development, no? Well, this could be our reality, if the ECOWAS Eco ever comes to fruition.


Made up of 15 member states, the leaders of The Economic Community of West African States, are making attempts to have Africa as a better-integrated continent. On July 1, 2019 they adopted the name ‘ECO’ for the planned single currency to be introduced in the West African region.

So What Does This Mean For Nigerians?

Let’s ignore the fact that ‘ECO’ sounds like the name of a 90s Nigerian University cultist, should it become the single currency of Nigeria and the rest of the 14 West-African member states, here’s what we can expect:

Nigeria Will No Longer Hide Their Face When Ghana Walks Into The Room.

That’s because a single currency will mean the abolition of exchange rates.

Even though one Ghanaian Cedi currently exchanges at 67.16 Naira, with the introduction of the Eco currency, all our broke sins shall be wiped away and we will become new again.

This goes for all countries involved, even the 8 Francophone WA States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) which currently use the CFA Franc as a uniform currency.

By doing this, trade between all countries in the region will be made infinitely easier!

Nigeria Will Be Able To Focus On Exporting Their Jollof.

With a single currency, there will be a realistic reduction in the cost of engaging in trade. By so doing, the countries involved will focus on what they do best and exchange it for goods other countries produce. Jollof rice for Ghana’s gold is a fair trade, no?

Nigeria’s Central Bank Won’t Be Able To Carry Shoulders Anymore.

And that’s a good thing. No other country’s central bank will be be either. This is the currency union will have one central bank, completely independent of any state, which will be invaluable in improving price stability.

So why aren’t our wallets filled with Eco notes Right Now?

Well, because man proposes and God Well, He disposes.

Case in point, this isn’t the first time this plan has been suggested. The idea to have a common currency has been raised four times, the first being in the year 2000, when 6 leaders of the Anglophone WA states agreed to create a harmonised monetary union.

Here’s why it’s so hard to achieve.

Because to adopt a single currency, the African states have to pass these tests:

1.Each country has to achieve single digit inflation of 5% or less.
In 2018, Ghana’ inflation rate was at 9.84%. Nigeria’s inflation rate, as of February 2019 was 11.31%. It is no easy feat to achieve.

2.ECOWAS also requires all member states to achieve a budget deficit to GDP ratio of 4% or lower before the currency is dropped.
It is currently projected that Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio will be 62% by the end of 2019. Nigeria, around 26% in 2020, when the currency is expected to launch.

It’s going to be incredibly hard to achieve.

And if that isn’t hard enough, the reality is, African countries do not necessarily trade among themselves. Overseas trade makes about 80% of total trade on the continent, while trade between African countries accounts for about 10%.

So do we really need this currency?

Time will tell. Let’s even have it first.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 28, 2020

For a while now, Coronavirus has been making the rounds with different countries reporting a new case every day. In Nigeria, we have been spectators since the first incident was reported and we empathized from afar. However, yesterday, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control informed us of the first reported case of Coronavirus in Nigeria. […]

May 9, 2020

To convict Orji Uzor Kalu — former Abia State Governor, Senator and chief whip of the senate — of a ₦7.7 billion fraud allegation, the trial courts engaged in proceedings so elongated, a child born at its inception would have been gearing up for senior secondary school upon its end.  With the Supreme Court decision […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

More from Citizen

December 24, 2021

Abroad Life tells the stories of Nigerians who japa’d, but many times, the stories have a shocking twist.

From jaw-dropping stories of grand-scale internet fraud to heartbreaking stories of family betrayal, these are the top 10 most-read Abroad Life stories of 2021.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X