Macron at TEF, Proposes Common Currency for ECOWAS
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron visit to Nigeria has been fruitful. He speaks with a lot of diplomacy, fun, and bluntness.
Today Macron is in Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) where he meets with entrepreneurs and talk to them about business particularly on start up and how they can compete in the Market.
“When you are a Nigerian entrepreneur, you have a big advantage, your market is huge. And if you don’t get access to the market, I am sorry to be blunt, but it’s the story of your politicians. I mean, that’s the job of your government. You should open the market for new players. But that’s a big issue everywhere.
In my country, in Europe in some segments, in some economic sectors, people say, ‘I don’t get sufficient access to the market’ because the old classical players just captured the market and made the regulations for themselves.
Your 1st market is your domestic market. Your domestic market [Nigeria] is huge but let’s check if your market is totally free in terms of access and if you don’t have over regulation dedicated to protecting existing players. I mean, it is never good in the long run to over protect existing players.” Macron said.
The French President displays his dissatisfaction to monopoly and lack of competition in the market. He continues …
“Because you can accumulate success, money and capital, when the goals of accumulation is innovation. But if you accumulate profit because of overregulation and monopoly and so on, at a point in time, it’s not acceptable for your people.
I think what you need to have better access to your regional market is regional integration. I’m a strong believer of ECOWAS and market access and a national regional approach. Obviously, Nigeria is a big champion in ECOWAS.”
“Some countries of ECOWAS are closely linked to Europe, especially old Franc, CFA. I have told them,
‘if you want to change that, I am ready to do so, I am open.’
Because for me, regional integration at a point in time will go to more integration, market taxes probably a sort of common currency for the whole region. We have to change the rules.
We have to accept that for a lot of these countries, their main interest with the regional and not just directly with Paris” He added.