Banking & Finance Economy

ECOWAS adopts ECO as name of single currency

Written by Maritime First

…As SEC urges investors of defunct Skye bank to claim their dividends***

The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Saturday at their 55th Ordinary Session in Abuja adopted ECO as the name of the single currency to be issued in January 2020.

The leaders endorsed the name while congratulating the Ministerial Committee on the Single Currency for the considerable progress recorded in the implementation of the revised roadmap.

In the communiqué read by Mr Mustapha Suleiman, Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Authority instructed the ECOWAS Commission to work in collaboration with West African Monetary Agency.

The leaders also instructed the commission to work with West African Monetary Institute and the central banks to accelerate the implementation of the revised roadmap with regard to the symbol of the single currency.

The Authority also directed the commission and the central banks to accelerate the operation of the Special Fund for financing of programmes in the revised Roadmap for the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.

“It further directs the commission to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the meeting of the ministerial committee held in Abidjan on June 17 and June 18 as well as preparation and implementation of the Communication Strategy for the single currency programme.

“The Authority takes note of the 2018 macroeconomic convergence report. It noted the worsening of the macroeconomic convergence and urges member states to do more to improve on their performance in view of the imminent deadline.”

Furthermore, the ECOWAS Chairman President Issoufou Mahamadou said the revised roadmap still stipulated that the single currency would be issued in Jan. 2020.

“We have not changed that but we will continue with assessment between now and then.

“We are of the view that countries that are ready will launch the single currency and countries that are not yet ready will join the programme as they comply with all six convergence criteria.”

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has reiterated its earlier directives to shareholders of the defunct Skye Bank to claim their dividends.

The Acting Director-General, SEC, Mrs Mary Uduk made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Uduk, SEC recently released a circular to shareholders of the bank to claim all outstanding dividends.

“We have informed shareholders of the defunct Skye bank that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank were being held in trust on their behalf.

“This will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence.

“Investors that have unclaimed dividends are therefore advised to contact Cardinalstone Registrars to process their dividends,” she said.

Uduk said the Commission had also directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders were addressed forthwith.

“Since the company is no longer in operation, these unclaimed dividends have to be made available to the rightful owners that are the shareholders.

“As that will go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends,” uduk said.

This SEC said was part of its investors’ protection programme to ensure that shareholders got the benefits of investing in the capital market.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in September 2018 revoked the operating license of Skye Bank as well as approved its take over by Polaris Bank PLC.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had said “we wish to assure all depositors that under the arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services continues in the new bank.”

Recall that as at the time Skye Bank was taken over by CBN, the bank had a negative net asset worth of N1 trillion which constituted a sad commentary on the capital requirement of N25 billion for Nigerian banks.




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Maritime First