Appraising the legal issues with the ‘eco’ currency*
The intending introduction of “Eco” as a unified currency in ECOWAS is expected to bring varying considerable changes in the region. While English and Portuguese ECOWAS are independent and enjoy certain level of autonomy in its monetary and fiscal policies from their erstwhile colonizers, the French ECOWAS has a unified monetary and fiscal policy with overbearing influence of France. „Eco‟ if accepted will make respective member States to lose their autonomy over their legal tender and certain degrees of legal changes in their respective laws. The laws will have some form of similarity irrespective of the State if the unified „Eco‟ will be operational. Can these ECOWAS States completely give up their autonomy in monetary policies in the face of quest for a unified „Eco‟ currency? What legal implications will this have on ECOWAS States with less population and economy? Will the unified currency help in achieving the desired integration in the sub region? The paper found that a central bank for the ECOWAS region is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the unitary monetary policy. It further found that the existence of dichotomy in policy between the Anglophone and Francophone ECOWAS Member States was a clog which must be resolved before the proposed currency can see the light of day.
Key Words: “ECOWAS”, “Eco”, “Treaties”, “Economic Independence”, “Anglophone” and “Francophone