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Single Regulation For Central Banks   
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Central Banks in West Africa could operate under a single regulation in future. Already, there are plans to integrate stock exchanges in the sub-region including the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Ghana Stock Exchange and the BVRM, which is made up of countries in Francophone West Africa.

The Central Bank Governors of Nigeria and Ghana have started discussing plans towards this goal.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido, has also been pushing for a single regulation to ensure the protection of banks in the sub-region against shocks, especially coming on the back of recent credit crunch in Nigeria’s financial industry.

Mr. Sanusi, according to reports, is bent on influencing all the Central Bank Governors in West Africa to adopt a single regulation agenda.

The new Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Paa Kwesi Berko Amissah-Arthur said: “I am in favour of this laudable idea and I would meet with the head of Banking Supervision at BoG to work towards the goal.”

Mr. Amissah-Arthur told the media that he would meet with the Governor of CBN to prepare the grounds for the regulation, which would promote regional integration and co-operation.

He noted that it was important for West African countries to harmonize their regulations and design policy frameworks since “banks in the region have subsidiaries or are in the process of rolling out subsidiaries in neighbouring countries.”

For instance, there are five Nigerian originated banks in Ghana including Intercontinental and Zenith and Afro Arabian bank, which has shares from some Francophone West African countries.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has been in the forefront of promoting the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Integration Programme.

It is envisaged that the successful take-off of the programme would lead to the commencement of the Single Monetary Union in the African Union (AU) in line with NEPAD’s objectives.

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