The Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) has urged member countries to ensure that non-tariff barriers were reduced to the barest minimum in the region.
Dr Nelson Magbagbeola, the Acting Director of Multilateral Surveillance, ECOWAS Commission, made this known at 37th meeting of the Technical Committee of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments, after their meeting, had approved the abolition of residence permit and introduction of biometric identity card for the community citizens.
“The suthority subsequently requested the ministers in charge of security to review all the security implications of the measure prior to the signing of the supplementary act on the issues.
“Member states are urged to continue to ensure that the non-tariff barriers are reduced to the barest minimum by reducing and consolidating the checkpoint along the international transit corridor.’’
According to him, the ECOWAS commission is committed to the monetary integration agenda and a sustainable development of the region.
He added that the overall idea was to ensure that the quality of life of citizens was improved.
Also speaking, the Director-General, West African Monetary Institute (WAM), Dr Abakwu Englama, said the institute had sought the collaboration of both regional and international partners in pursuit of the objectives of WAMZ.
“The collaborative banking supervision by the college of supervisors of WAMZ continues to focus on financial stability through compliance as the core principle of implementing the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS)’’ he said.
He said Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone had implemented IFRS while implementation was ongoing in Gambia and Liberia.
He, however, added that Guinea was still at the preparatory stage to adopt the standard.
Commenting on the meeting, the Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Bashiru Yuguda, said the major objective of the meeting was to ensure that the common objective of the region was achieved.
“We are talking about monetary union, and we are talking about six different countries with different economies; the challenges are different and may be similar.
“We need to look at the reality on ground and take the right decision on the monetary union.’’
He assured that the meeting would look at all the parameters in achieving the common goal to guide the Central Bank governors during their own meeting.