Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe
In the face of rising demand for foreign exchange (FX) for both goods and services by Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised Nigerians to resist the urge of succumbing to the speculative activities of some players in the foreign exchange market.
The Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, in a statement, explained that the central bank remained committed to resolving the FX issues confronting the nation and as such had been working to manage both the demand and supply side challenges.
This is also coming as the parallel market pressures eased yesterday with the naira selling at N715 against N720 which it sold on Thursday having crossed the N700 mark on Wednesday.
However, while admitting that there was huge demand pressure for FX to meet the needs of manufacturers as well as those for the payment of tuition, medical fees and other invisibles, Nwanisobi said the bank was concerned about the international value of the naira, adding that the monetary authority was strategising to help Nigeria earn more stable and sustainable inflows of FX in the face of dwindling inflows from the oil sector.
Specifically, he noted that recent initiatives undertaken by the bank such as the RT200 FX Programme and the Naira4Dollar rebate scheme had helped to increase FX inflow to the country.
According to him, the bank’s records showed that foreign exchange inflow through the RT200 FX Programme in the first and second quarters of 2022 increased significantly to about US$600 million as at June 2022. Similarly, he disclosed that the Naira4Dollar incentive also increased the volume of Diaspora remittances during the first half of the year.
Continuing, he said interventions such as 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility (NESF), among others, were also geared towards diversifying the economy, enhancing inflow of FX, stimulating production and reducing foreign exchange demand pressure.
Nwanisobi therefore said that the bank would continue to make deliberate effort in the foreign exchange sector to avert further downward slide in the value of the naira, which he observed is fuelled by speculative tendencies.
Reiterating an earlier position of the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, he urged Nigerians to play their role by adjusting their consumption patterns, looking inwards and finding innovative solutions to the country’s challenges. He submitted that monetary policy alone could not bear all the burden of the expected adjustments needed to manage the challenges around Nigeria’s foreign exchange and admonished that: “It’s our collective duty as Nigerians to shore up the value of the Naira”.