• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Here is what CBN can do to tame impact of coronavirus on Nigerian market

The global market has been sent in disarray due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the Nigerian economy has not been spared.
The coronavirus which started in China, the world’s most populous nation, has spread to over 67 countries killing over 4000 persons and infected no fewer than 120,000 people, as of Friday last week, including most of the big names in the World.
This has brought a devastating effect on the entire globe with many economists forecasting the world may be on course for a global recession as economic and social activities slow down.
Many countries have placed travel restrictions on flights coming in and out of their countries, while major companies have halted their operation as the coronavirus continues to double its spread further into more countries.
The international market is already feeling the hit of the virus spread with major markets witnessing massive sell-offs as investors take out their money to get a proper clue on what how far the impact of the pandemic could go.
Major central banks have exercised a dovish stand in other to support economic activities. Both the Federal Reserve and Band Of England (BOE) has cut-rate by as much as 50basis points each, the highest rate cut since 2008, many analysts say rate cut may not still be sufficient to save the global economy from another downturn.
The slowdown in airline travels accompanied by the closure of operations of major companies in China, which happened to be the biggest buyers of crude oil, has culminated into causing a drop in crude oil prices.
In a bid to push up the price of oil, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, resolved to enact a 1.5 million barrel per day cut to support an already 2 million barrel per day that had been enacted before.
The cartel and its allies believe that by cutting instituting a new supply cut, this would help in supporting the prices of crude which were trading at $45.
The global market witnessed a new round of heightened panic after two of the World’s largest oil exporters (Saudi Arabia and Russia) failed to reach an agreement on the cut, but rather Saudi Arabia started an oil war but pumping in more oil while still slashing its price to attract buyers.
This singular act sent crude price tumbling further by 40 per cent to as low as $31 per barrel, its biggest daily drop since the Gulf war in 1991.
This led to further sell-offs on Wall Street with virtually all stocks indices closing in the red.
Back home in Nigeria Back home, Africa’s largest economy is already having a hard time being that crude oil sales from where it gets over 85 per cent of its dollar liquidity, and over 70 per cent of its entire revenue, is trading below the $57 mark which it pegged its budget.
Falling oil prices do not align well for Nigeria as it would make the government handicapped in carrying out its planned expenditure and also put pressure on the Naira.
 Already, the country has blown over $8 billion of its reserve as it continues to defend the naira from falling against the dollar.
It can also worsen the country’s trade balance and current account as oil constitutes a major chunk of the country’s export.
But it isn’t a 100 per cent bad for the Nigerian economy if some measures are enacted to help in reducing the impact of the falling oil price on the country, according to analysts at Investment and financial services firm, Investment One.
Investment One, while addressing the investing public last week cited various opportunities that abound for investors in the wake of current economic reality.
The investment firm outlined four major strategies that the Central Bank can apply to cushion the outflows witnessed in the market by foreign investors.
This strategies the firm noted includes Increase interest rate for Foreign Portfolio Investors (OMO stop rates); placing more items on ban from accessing the official FX market; the use of the nation’s reserves to defend up to another devaluation trigger point of US$30billion; and lastly devaluing the currency to bring confidence to the market.