The West African Institute for Financial Management (WAIFEM) Monday began a one-week regional training for Central Bank staff from five West African countries — Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In a statement, WAIFEM said the training was aimed at keeping the Central banks and finance ministries from of the countries ahead of banks and other financial institutions that they regulate and supervise with a view to meeting the 2015 new target deadline set by the five economic countries for a single monetary union.
Addressing the participants, the Director-General of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said the course, covering the implementation of effective risk management and good corporate practices, was also designed to equip the trainees with the task of keeping the level of bank risks exposure low and ensure a virile and sound banking sector under the planned monetary Union by the target date.
Prof. Ekpo is the immediate past President of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES).
Under the planned second single monetary union for the ECOWAS region, the five converging countries would have a single economy with a common currency, called the ‘Eco’; a common central bank to be led by a Governor and a Chairman or President of the Union as the case may be.
According to Ekpo, “the idea is that we want to make sure that by the time we integrate the region, all the countries would have skilled regulators, so that we can work together in all aspects of economic activities.”
“We want to now update the skills of the regulators and other bankers in the region, so that they can better manage their portfolios.”