Osinbajo Says, Nigeria Can’t Get New Dollars When Exchange Rate Is Artificially Low
The artificially low exchange rate, according to Osinbajo, discourages investors from bringing foreign exchange into the nation
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
Nigeria can’t get additional dollars into the economy because the exchange rate is “artificially low,” according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
This was said by Osinbajo on Monday in Abuja at the start of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat, which was organized to review progress made in achieving the Buhari administration’s nine major goals.
The artificially low exchange rate, according to Osinbajo, discourages investors from bringing foreign exchange into the nation. He says, “As for the exchange rate, I think we need to move our rates to be as reflective of the market as possible. This, in my own respective view, is the only way to improve supply.
“We can’t get new dollars into the system where the exchange rate is artificially low. And everyone knows by how much our reserves can grow. I’m convinced that the demand management strategy currently being adopted by the CBN needs a rethink, and that is just my view.
“Anyway, all those are issues that when the CBN governor has time to address, he will be able to address in full.”
Osinbajo also stated that the CBN is in competition with the government’s fiscal side, which comprises ministries, departments, and organizations.
“There must be synergy between the fiscal and the monetary authority. We must be able to deal with the synergy, we must handle the synergy between the monetary authority, the CBN, and the fiscal side.
“Sometimes, it appears that there is competition, especially on the fiscal side. If you look at some of the interventions, you will find that those interventions are interventions that should be managed by ministries.
“The ministry of industry, trade and investment should handle MSMEs interventions, and we should know what the CBN is doing. In other words, if the CBN is intervening in the MSME sector, it should be with the full cooperation and consent of the ministry of industry.
“Sometimes you will get people who are benefiting more than once because we simply have no line of sight on what is going on, on one side,” he explained.
Speaking on overcoming the 2020 economic challenge, Osinbajo credited the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, with providing stable leadership during the crisis, stating, “Let me say on the whole that we have been able to weather the storm of a very very serious economic challenge.”
“I think that is based largely on the steady and stable leadership we received from the president. I think if Mr. President had panicked in that period, we would have had a lot of difficulties, perhaps we would be in a much worse situation.
“He deserves the commendation for providing that steady hand when that was required.”
Anything is achievable, according to Osinbajo, provided Nigeria and Nigerians are ready to work together toward a common goal.
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