…Briefs Senate leadership on foreign exchange
From Fred Itua, Abuja
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, told newsmen in Abuja that with the current foreign exchange policy of the apex bank, Nigeria will exit recession on or before the end of the third quarter of 2017.
Emefiele stated this after he briefed the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and other principal officers of the Red Chamber, on how to resolve issues surrounding foreign exchange market in the country.
Emefiele who briefed the lawmakers in a closed door session, told newsmen after the meeting that it was convened at the instance of the Senate at the instance of Saraki.
Emefiele said the recent monetary policies of the CBN have resulted in the low exchange rate currently in the foreign exchange market.
Emefiele said: “The Senate President invited us to come and brief the Senate in a closed door session and the leadership about providing some updates about the foreign exchange markets and you will all have observed that in the last two months, the central bank has been involved in some form of intensive intervention in the foreign exchange market and this has fortunately resulted in a downward trend in the parallel market price of foreign exchange from as high as N525 to as low as N370. Right now, it hovers between N370 and N380.
“It is an opportunity for me to say we are going to continue this intervention because the reserve looks very good. As I speak to you, our reserve stands at above $31 billion. That provides us enough of firepower or ammunition to be able to defend the currency and we will do so with all intensity to ensure that foreign exchange is procured by everybody.
“You want to import raw materials, you will get foreign exchange; you want to import plant and equipment, you will get foreign exchange; you want to pay school fees or you are a small business that wants to buy foreign exchange for you to import your small items, you will procure foreign exchange.
“We have started to see a downward trend even in prices and we have also observed that inflation is also trending downward. We are very much optimistic that by the end of the second quarter, we should be out of the recession that we are in right now.
“With the kind of firepower we have, we are also going to play in the market to ensure that as the prices move on, based on the managed float regime we run, we should be able to control the prices based on willing buyer and willing seller basis.”