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Business News of Thursday, 9 November 2023


Forex: NECA, experts disagree on FG’s target

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Against the backdrop of indications that the Federal Government is putting in place measures to achieve the exchange rate target of N500-N600/$1, while reorganising the banking sector, various private sector institutions and financial experts have expressed divergent views over the feasibility and the benefits of the goals.

They, however, advised the government on what it should do to achieve a stable macroeconomic environment that will address exchange rate instability.

Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Tope Fasua, speaking at the “Cowries to Cash” lecture and launch in Abuja on Tuesday, dropped the hint on the Federal Government’s plan to shore up the value of the naira.

Alluding to the rise in the value of the naira in the past few days, Fasua said the trend is expected to continue as a result of policies being implemented by the government.

He cautioned Nigerians hoarding foreign currencies with the hope that the local currency will continue to fall, warning that the policies of the government will shock them.

Fasua, who represented Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the event said: “For those who are speculating and praying and wishing that the currency would become nonsense, I believe that policies being rolled out by the Central Bank and the Federal Government that I serve, led by the President Bola Tinubu, will shock some of them.

“You know, he has some very great ideas coming up. Some of them are what you’ve seen reversing the fall in the value of the naira, but he has also challenged us to review forward many of the targets, for example, the idea that Nigeria’s economy will get to a trillion dollars. He wants to achieve it by 2026.

“Some people thought the naira will continue to lose value. Of course, we can already see what’s going on and the naira will strengthen even further to may be N500 or N600. I’m beginning to see some of those.”

NECA reacts

Reacting to this hint, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, and economy experts commended the idea but urged the working policy plans should be disclosed and made clear.

They added that government should focus on local production, address the nation’s propensity to import, make the fiscal and monetary policy authorities work in sync among other things, before dreaming of a lower exchange rate.

Commenting, NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, urged government to deepen engagement with organized businesses with the view of building greater consensus and support for the on-going reforms.

Oyerinde stated: “We note the plan by the Government to shore up the value of the Naira to between N500 and N600 to a Dollar in 2024. This plan is quite commendable and ambitious.

“While we commend the plan, it is instructive to note that this will require deliberate and focused plan of action to address the shortfall in Dollar supply”.