• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Nigerian Senate hopeful of strong naira after reassurances by Emefiele


The Nigerian Senate on Tuesaday said it is satisfied with the way the monetary authories have been able to manage pressured naira in the face of prevailing tight global economic conditions.

The commendation came after the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, held a closed-door session with the upper legislative chamber in what the law makers called an exhaustive discussion on the naira and recent remedial policies introduced by the regulator.

“The CBN Governor gave a number of reassurances as regards to the deliberate efforts to be taken about those speculating on the foreign exchange market,” Bukola Saraki, head of Senate said after the meeting.

” Central Bank has no intention to confiscate any of the dollars that have been deposited and to continue to support a downward interest rate regime and also policies that will support exporters and diversify our economy and lead to reduction on our demand side on the immediate and near future”.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Senate Spokesperson, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi explained that the policies of the apex bank are mostly geared towards increasing local production, creating jobs, safeguarding commonwealth and expanding economic opportunities and growth in Africa’s largest economy.

The lawmaker said following Emefiele’s presentation, Senators were satisfied that the country was not doing badly in terms of macroeconomic indices.

He said: “Following an exhaustive response by the Governor and his team, the Senate acknowledged that these are indeed difficult times all over the world and not just in Nigeria.

“The Senate also acknowledged the pains that many people may be facing at this time, especially in light of shortages of foreign exchange for legitimate business.

“But having carefully considered the policies of the CBN, the Senate would like to commend and support these policies because they are mostly geared towards increasing local production, creating jobs, safeguarding our commonwealth and expanding economic opportunities and growth in Nigeria”.

Abdullahi said the CBN Governor presented a detailed, comprehensive and lucid account of the performance of the economy in the last one year.

The presentation “began with the current global economic conditions, which have been characterised by external shocks, including the sharp decline in commodity prices, the geographical tensions along important global trading routes and tightening of monetary policy in the United States”.

He said senators grilled the CBN Governor on the fall in foreign exchange reserves, exclusion of some items from access to foreign exchange as well as policy coordination between fiscal and monetary authorities.

The Senate Spokesman said the CBN Governor drew linkages of these occurrences with the Nigerian economy, especially with respect to the over 70 percent decline in oil prices from about $116 per barrel in June 2014 to about $30 per barrel currently.

“The Governor’s presentation also gave us an insight into the bank’s analysis and understanding of the situation, and therefore, the rationale underlying the countervailing policy actions it has taken over the last couple of months”, he stated.

But the senators raised questions around the health of the banking system, stoppage of sale of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change and rise in inflation.