Be patient, CBN working to strengthen Naira – Cardoso begs Nigerians

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, yesterday, begged Nigerians to be patient, as the management of the apex bank is doing everything possible to ensure that the Naira is strengthened.

Cardoso said this at the 2024 public lecture entitled: ‘Recent Developments in a Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market: Issues, Options and Way Forward’, organised by the Nigerian Economic Society, NES, at the CBN Centre of Excellence Hall, University of Ibadan.

The CBN governor, who was represented at the event by Dr. Usman Opanachi of the Department of Monetary Policy, CBN said: “Anytime the Naira is on trial, the CBN is also on trial. We are working day and night to address the challenges and we hope things will work out.

“The exchange rate features nearly in every sector. The exchange rate and inflation are very high now. The exchange rate is a problem.

“Excess demand for forex in Nigeria is a legendary problem. It has just been there and over the years, the bank has implemented various strategies to address this problem. Those strategies have only been able to provide some temporary relief.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria does not supply or produce dollars. It is the naira that it produces. The CBN management thinks when you hold the price of a commodity that is determined by forex down artificially, a time comes when you will not be able to do that.

“The thinking of the new management of CBN is that the policies you have are intended to address the problem. The approach the management has adopted is the market forces approach. The bank now allows the market forces to play a greater role in the determination of the price of naira.”

Delivering the lecture, a renowned economist, Prof Sam Olofin, said it will be difficult for the CBN to control the foreign exchange saying the parallel market forces have taken dominance.

On the evolution of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market, Olofin said: “We are only applying the same old drugs on a patient without any good results. The parallel markets are outside the purview of the CBN.”
In his welcome address, President of the Nigerian Economic Society, Prof Adeola Adenikinju urged the Federal Government to consult economists on the weak economy.


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