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ECOWAS urges member-states toward payment systems integration


ABUJA – ECOWAS Commission on Thursday called on member states to intensify efforts toward the setting up a regional Payment and Settlement System.

This will be a key component of an ECOWAS Common Investment Market (ECIM) and a necessary building block for the establishment of an economic union.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Sunny Ugoh, the commission’s spokesperson on Thursday in Abuja.

ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Mr Kalilou Traore, made the call at the Central Banks Payment Systems Experts’ meeting on Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal.

The meeting was on the establishment of the ECOWAS Payment and Settlement System (EPSS) aimed at promoting monetary and financial integration.

It will also facilitate intra-community trade in goods and services and the realisation of the community’s objective of establishing an economic union.

The statement stated that Traore described the EPSS programme as one of the roadmap activities for the realisation of ECOWAS single currency.

It said representing Traore, Mr Peter Oluonye, the Directorate’s Principal Programme Officer said it was in tandem with steps already taken by some Regional Economic Communities (RECs) across the African continent.

He said an EPSS study revealed that apart from Guinea Bissau and Liberia, all the banks in the rest 13 countries in the region were already operating on the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

He stated that it was a critical pre-condition for the operation of the EPSS.

Traore listed some of the expected benefits of the EPSS as guarantying of prompt payment to the exporter, building of trust among traders.

He said that it would also lead to a drastic reduction in the cost of intra-regional trade transactions and remittance, among others.

“With EPSS, the need for correspondent banking to facilitate trade transactions between ECOWAS member states will soon be unnecessary,” Traore said. (NAN)
PDP urges Nigerians to imbibe love, peace, tolerance at Ramadan (metro)

ABUJA – The National leadership of the PDP has urged Nigerians to imbibe love, peace and tolerance at Ramadan.

National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, made the call in statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

In the statement, Metuh said these virtues epitomised the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

The statement called on Nigerians to reposition their hearts and minds for the holy month of Ramadan.

It stated that the month provided an opportunity for Nigerians to draw nearer to God and jettison all forms of bitterness, divisions and violence.

“Ramadan offers us exceptional lessons in unity; humility and brotherliness which, when properly inculcated, will make the nation a better place where all shall live in harmony as one people under the Almighty Allah.’’

“Allah in his infinite wisdom and mercy decided to bring us together to live in love’’, the statement said.

It urged well-meaning Nigerians of other religious persuasions to join the Muslim Community in fasting.

It also urged Nigerians to continue to work and pray for peace, unity and prosperity of the nation.

The statement enjoined the people to ensure that the Ramadan fasting was effectively utilised as a means of spiritual edification for the good of all.

It noted that God had blessed the nation with abundant human and material resources, which could be harnessed for the benefit of all if Nigerians learned to work together in love.

It urged the people to support those in leadership positions and charged all elected and appointed officials of the PDP to use the holy month of Ramadan to reflect on the essence of service.

It also charged them to redouble their efforts in the prudent handling of resources as encapsulated in the party`s manifesto.

The statement called on those behind the violent attacks in the country to have a rethink and understand that life is sacrosanct and should not be wantonly taken by any person under any guise. (NAN)

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