Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said the apex bank has perfected plans to save the naira from further depreciation.
Speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, the CBN boss also declared that there was no plan to further depreciate the nation’s currency.
According to Emefiele, his management recently met with critical stakeholders in the private sector where far reaching decisions on how to exclude certain items from obtaining foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange market were taken.
While affirming the fact that the CBN has no power to ban the importation of any product, Emefiele confirmed that his meeting with stakeholders yielded positive results on how they could partner to further strengthen the Naira.
He said, “What we have done is to exclude certain items that are imported into the country from obtaining foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
“Yes, it is also true we held a stakeholders’ meeting with the organized private sector and prominent and leading private sector stakeholder were at that meeting.
“It was not meant for the press. The purpose of that meeting was to engage the private sector to make the private sector understand that government realises that they are engines of growth. We also used the opportunity to explain to them the basis and purpose of those policies that we have introduced and at the end of that meeting they were very happy. They saw our position and indeed, at the end of that meeting some of them in fact provided us with the names of some items that should be included in the list that should be excluded from foreign exchange.
And I must confess that at this stage given the determination of some of the organised sectors to say that yes, they produce these items and that we should exclude those items from foreign exchange. We are reviewing that list and we may in due course include more items products that can be produced in Nigeria in the list of items that will be excluded from foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.”
On the debate on further devaluation of the currency, he said, “There has been a lot of talk on whether or not we want to depreciate our currency again. The truth is that we had adjusted the currency by depreciating it from N155 to N197 in February this year.
“There is no intention to depreciate or adjust the currency any longer.
“The President has been very clear on this The Vice President has been very clear on this and let me further reiterate our position at the Central Bank of Nigeria that we are not considering any further depreciation of the currency.
“What we are trying to concentrate on right now is how to improve and deepen the foreign exchange market by improving supply of foreign exchange into the market.
“And to do so we are trying to encourage people to export and earn your export proceeds and use your export proceeds to import whatever you need to import.
“We are also concentrating on how to reduce the import of items that we can produce in the country today.
“So that is our focus. I’m saying and very soon the CBN will be launching a campaign called PAVE, which means, produce locally, add value and export your product and earn your foreign exchange for your imports,’’ because this is the only way we can support the efforts of CBN in intervening and providing foreign exchange in the market to meet the import needs of our people,” he explained.
“It is very clear, what we need to do is reduce our propensity to import but we will not depreciate our currency. For now, we will not,” Emefiele added.