The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it doesn’t have a magic word to stabilise the foreign exchange, noting that Nigerians must reduce frequent demand for dollars for personal use.
The CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, said this at an interface with the Senate Joint Committee on Banking and Insurance in Abuja on Friday, February 9, 2024.
Cardoso, who assured of stability in the naira/dollar exchange rate, said the country must begin to look inward on how to improve its education and health institutions to reduce demand for the dollar.
The CBN Governor said: “In terms of volatility of the exchange rate, we are using various tools to ensure stability of exchange rate sooner than later.
“I really can’t tell other than to say that I do believe that once all the measures kick in, there will be price discovery that will indeed make sense for everybody.
“We all have a responsibility in ensuring demand and supply. We are working on supply, but on the demand side, we all have to moderate our various interests on that.
“This is to ensure that demand begins to come to a level that is sustainable.
“Our argument is that Nigerians must work together, to moderate demand for dollar. Where there are opportunities to substitute locally, we should do so.
“I believe that if we are able to up our game in the areas of education, then the demand for people to go abroad to spend money will not arise.
“We should put together a committee to moderate these things; everyone has a responsibility.”
Cardoso added that the CBN had worked hard to ensure that the crisis of confidence in the apex bank had been diluted, saying: “International investors are happier to come and invest in our economy.
“We have seen an increase in appetite for Nigeria, as a result of which, the volume of trading in the foreign exchange market in the past few days.
“It has exceeded what we have seen in years; that is a solid sign of return to confidence in our economy.”
On his part, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, said the ministry has plans to introduce major tax reforms to increase non-oil revenue.
Edun said: “We are looking at ensuring that government expenditure is carefully spent, even the President has reduced his own expenditure.
“For the medium term, be assured that the monetary and the fiscal policies being implemented are going to increase production and funding and the government will play its own role.”