Ezekwesili flays CBN’s forex policy

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Former Nigerian Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has flayed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over its foreign exchange policy.

Oby Ezekwesili
Oby Ezekwesili

Ms. Ezekwesili, a former Vice President of the World Bank, condemned the CBN’s forex policy while reacting to the new decision of the apex bank to sell forex to Bureau De Change operators twice weekly.

The CBN had in a release signed by its acting director of corporate communication, Isaac Okorafor, announced that it would commence twice weekly sales to BDCs, effective from Monday, April 3.

“The sale amount to BDCs is hereby increased to $10,000 weekly ($5,000 per bid) and a new rate will be announced on Monday, April 3, 2017,” the apex bank noted.

But in her reaction via her verified twitter handle, @obyezeks, the former World Bank boss, Monday, condemned what she described as the CBN’s use of force in its attempt to stabilise the rate of the naira against the dollar.

“Every Currency that goes up can come down through SOUND monetary policy. But, every Currency that comes down by FORCE will go up,” she twitted.

Commenting further, Mrs. Ezekwesili noted that the CBN is overly obsessed with the nominal rate of the naira, thus neglecting the currency’s real exchange rate.

“The worst FX Policy is when monetary authorities play to the gallery of their Political authority to make Nominal Value THE ISSUE.

“Rather than a sound focus on the REAL Exchange Rate of the Naira, there is unhealthy and unwholesome obsession with its Nominal Rate,” she added.

Meanwhile, the CBN on Monday injected $90 million to meet requests by bank customers, in its bid to sustain the supply of foreign exchange and ensure liquidity in the market.

Additionally, the CBN also offered $150 million to authorised FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window to meet their customers’ demand.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Okorafor had said the CBN would disabuse the notion by some market speculators that it would not be able to sustain its FOREX intervention efforts, adding that the apex bank would again inject more foreign exchange into the market early this week in an attempt to further strengthen the naira.

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