Governors slam Nigeria’s forex policy as Naira falls; demand urgent review

Bureau De Change

Worried by the continued widening gap between the inter-bank foreign exchange and parallel market rates, the National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday demanded the immediate review of the current foreign exchange policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al Makura, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting in Abuja said the Council, presided by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, expressed serious concern over the current situation of the exchange rate, especially the gap between inter-bank and the parallel market rates.

The council therefore called on the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to do something immediately.

The National Economic Council has as members governors of the 36 states, as well as CBN governor. It is headed by the vice president.

Prior to the introduction the flexible foreign exchange policy June last year, the exchange rate for Naira stood within a band of N197 and N199 to the dollar.

But, the removal of the exchange band, which was expected to increase supply of the dollar and help the nation’s weak economy, lessened government controls on the exchange rate.

While the government retained partial control at interbank and BDC rates, while the parallel market rate spiraled over the past months.

Since then the gap between the interbank (the official rate) and parallel market rates has been widening, raising concerns.

While the interbank rate stood at N280 to the dollar on the first day of the unveiling of the policy by the CBN, the parallel market rate was as high as N310 to the dollar.

Since then, the rate has been on the upswing, with interbank rate standing at about N305.50 to the dollar on Thursday, against the parallel rate of N510 to the dollar.

However, the CBN Governor at the meeting pleaded for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation was being closely managed.

During the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in January, Mr. Emefiele had said despite claims that there were almost seven different exchange rates in the country, the only rate recognised by CBN was the official inter-bank rate.

No query

Meanwhile, following reports that the bank was queried by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice over issues relating to the sale of foreign exchange, its spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, denied that neither the CBN governor nor the Director, Legal Services Department had received any communication to that effect.

Mr. Okorafor said as a responsible and responsive arm of government, the CBN would “always provide clarifications on any matter within its purview for the purpose of educating and enlightening all concerned.”

He said CBN had no direct dealings with any bank customer on foreign exchange transactions, pointing out that such transactions were always consummated strictly between the customers and their respective deposit money banks.

The figures of foreign exchange sold, he explained, had always been published in national dailies or on its arguing that transactions referred to in the publication were those between the banks and their customers.

Consequently, the CBN directed banks to ensure that henceforth returns on foreign exchange allocations in third currencies, such as Japanese Yen and South African Rand, Euros, Dollars should be reported in a new format approved by the CBN.

“The CBN has directed ALL Deposit Money Banks to render their returns in a uniform format converting all forex sales and purchases to NGN/USD. All third currency transactions are also to be converted to NGN/USD,” Mr. Okorafor said.


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  • Elderstateman

    If nothing is done about CBN management team and exchange rate policy by the end of 2017 the rate would most likely go down close to $1 = N1,000. I pray it does not happen.

    • Econometrist


      Nigeria is falling into an irretrievable rot and will soon become ungovernable
      territory. The people in the country don’t agree any basic ethic. Nigerians do
      not agree that stealing is wrong. That cultural fault sounding in psychiatric
      illness undid the country and seeped into national culture. And that culture
      then insidiously intersects with economics the result is the very devastating
      economic recession of Nigeria now in free fall. As thefts override production,
      distribution and consumption of public goods and services, economic growth
      falters and fails; and as Nigeria fails, the national currency becomes less a
      store of value and slides down in precipitate depreciation against convertible
      currencies overseas. President Buhari and his idle Ministers can’t relevantly
      stand in the gap as a possible solution, if they too don’t know better.


        We must watch and see that come 2019 APC must never rule us again.

        • un spkn

          This has nothing to do with APC. The 2015 elections was not about the APC. It was rather a campaign to vote out the PDP. This in my view is Nigeria’s greatest acheivement so far and we must use that same power to boot out the APC in 2019. However, I fear there is no intellectual Nigerian youth party to lead this country. Until we do find one, I stick with the APC an Tinubu. Sorry, but they are 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% better than the PDP. The moment we find suitable candidates, we kick them out too. The PDP was the rot that plagued our system and the APC allowed itself to be infiltrated by chalatans n r now d same as the rot we voted out. Osibanjo is just another Chalatan as of now and yetto prove himself.

  • Daniel

    Where is the man who promised to make one naira equals one dollar?

    A serious country gets such characters fired ASAP.

  • Tunji Olarewaju

    The exchange rate regime is actually condemnable and all that, but I’ve not seen any alternative solutions been preferred here! I hate criticism for criticism’s sake

    • Oladele

      The solution is sack Emefiele, put him under house arrest for six months and appoint an auditor to look into the books of CBN. Nearly all the CBN top directors own a BDC, and they are neck deep into money laundering. Trace the ownership of all BDC in Nigeria and discover the real culprit are CBN staffs. They initiate fictitious demand for forex, re-route the same back to black market and make huge amounts of profit. Some are multi-billionaires as of today. Check various estates and see developments going on at speed of light in a time of recession. All payments at such construction sites are done in cash creating a back economy or black economy. The size of the underworld economy is now a chunk of our GDP and that trend is dangerous as it is also fueling crime. Again those crying wolves are aiding and abetting the crime. Most of the governors in Nigeria as well as few government ministers are money launderers, they should stop shouting.

      • Watch man

        You are right on point! Who will clean up the swamp is the big question. And until some Rawlings with some appropriate dose of madness arrive on the scene to take the mantle of leadership we may still have a long way to go.

      • Say the truth

        Let me add that bank staff are culprit fueling the speculation about naira. They create panic and give impression that the situation will not change. They prevent those who have dollars to sell from doing so by telling them the naira will fall more next week and next month hence the scarcity. They are in league with BDC as they invite them into banks to sell to desperate bank customers at black market rates while they collect commissions.

      • Tunji Olarewaju

        This is what criticism is supposed to be, not empty noise making and grandstanding of these useless governors and other pocket critics.God bless you!

  • Darlington

    Emefiele and the entire management of CBN should as a matter of urgency throw in the towel. The current leadership of the Apex bank has lost control of the monetary aspect of the economy.

  • Man_Enough

    Emefiele was installed to assist in looting of the treasury. His services are no longer required.

  • Say the truth

    All talks no action. He simply said Nigerian should be patient the situation is being ‘closely managed’ whatever that means. These people have lost control and have reached their depth if there is anything they could do they would have done.

  • Watch man

    I hereby propose a social media revolution/protest tagged #ChaseOutTheLooters.
    Enough of this deceit and wickedness in high places.

  • new republic

    Emir of Kano said,with the current situation in the forex,he could sit down in his garden and make billions.govt don’t know the meaning,A country without sound economic team,Nigeria will swim in reccesion for a very long time

  • David Adeniran

    I hope the CBN man is not out to sabotage the Government. The monetary policies seem to be completely out of his control.

  • Oladele Oduola

    Join the discussion…

  • 678

    CBN robber, Emiefele has to go b/4 our economy can make a U turn for the better!

  • O Sam Joshua

    To improve our forex value govt should allow free imports of forex without restriction. Loot are allowed into other countries too without arrest.
    Let us encourage citizenship by foreign funds import.
    Emefiele should be sacked and probed for our economy mismanagement.