Ecowas central banks seek uniform computation of bad loans

ECOWAS18 April 2014, Lagos – Banks within the West African sub-region will soon have a uniform format for computing bad loans.

This was part of the decision taken at the meeting of the Committee of central bank Governors under the West African Monetary Zone held in January.

According to the January Economic report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “The 30th meeting of the Committee of Governors (COG) of WAMZ was held.

Major highlights of decisions taken by the Committee of Governors include: The computation of non-performing loans (NPLs) across the zone should be standardized based on Basel core principles reporting templates to ensure a uniform reporting format across member states.

The COG directed that the extent to which member states have implemented the recommendations of the roadmap of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) should also be reported at the next meeting; Accepted the proposal on the fast-track approach where two countries (Nigeria and Ghana) would drive the single currency programme by going into the monetary union before other member countries would follow; and It approved the report of the College of Supervisors of the WAMZ (CSWAMZ) and directed the college to undertake a study on
“Dollarization in the Zone” as well as a “Gap analysis on prudential guidelines in the Zone”.

Meanwhile, Acting Governor of the CBN, Mrs Sarah Alade, has called for cooperation among African central banks to address the problem of unemployment on the continent. Alade made this call while addressing the caucus meeting of African Central Bank Governors on

Industrialization For Inclusiveness and Transformative Development in Africa, held in Abuja. She said, “One major issue in Africa is whether the attention of central banks should focus on price stability and financial stability only or should Central Banks in the region be concerned about developmental goals.

Although the focus on price and financial stability has served us well in containing inflation and deepening the financial sector, it has not been able to bring down unemployment or achieve inclusive growth on the continent.”

This has led to many social problems and general restiveness. As Central Banks, we must find a way to work together to solve this problem, suggesting developmental role must be part of the agenda of Central Banks on the African continents.

Programs such as improving access to finance, promoting financial inclusion and have targeted interventions in the economy must be considered.

“Second, we need to access the need for payments systems inclusiveness for financial stability and transformative development in Africa. Realistic economic transformation and industrial development would entail greater participation of the private sector in the process of development, through improvements in the payments system and improved access to credit.

Recent technological innovations in mobile banking have provided opportunities for financial inclusion, with clear implications for financial stability.”
*Babajide Komolafe – Vanguard

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