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Forex crisis: We’re now at a turning point, Cardoso says

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Appetite for all things foreign to blame for naira collapse, $98bn spent on medical tourism, others in 10 years - CBN 

Yemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has noted that the country is now at a turning point, as according to him, the reforms embarked upon by the Bola Tinubu administration will soon begin to yield results.

Cardoso who spok in response to the persisting foreign exchange crisis, which has seen naira fall to over N1400 to dollar at the official window, assured Nigerians that it has adopted some strategies to address the situation.

The CBN governor spoke on Tuesday at the resumption of the sectoral debate series organised by the House of Representatives.

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Decrying the high cost of living in the country, Cardoso, however, noted that the nation’s economy is now better than the stage President Bola Tinubu met it when he took over from Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023.

“To address exchange rate volatility, a comprehensive strategy has been initiated to enhance liquidity in the foreign exchange markets. These include unifying foreign exchange market segments, clearing outstanding FX obligations, introducing new operational mechanisms for BDCs, enforcing the Net Open Position limit, and adjusting the remunerable Standing Deposit Facility cap,” he said.

While acknowledging the challenges threatening the economy, Cardoso said, “I want to emphasize that we are now at a turning point, and the bold reforms underway across different segments of the economy, though initially challenging, are aimed at addressing these challenges sustainably.

“I am confident that positive outcomes are already emerging and will become more apparent in the near future. The dedicated and relentless efforts being made are certain to bring about significant and positive changes for our economy.

“Notably, recent reports from international rating agencies such as Fitch, Moody’s, S&P and commendations from multilateral banks like the World Bank reflect this positive trajectory, with upgrades to Nigeria’s ratings from stable to positive.

“These reports acknowledge the potential reversal of the deterioration in the country’s fiscal and external position due to the authorities’ reform efforts. While recognizing the painful adjustments, they all point to a direction that will unlock much needed growth and development for our economy in the medium to long term.”

In his own remarks, Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, assured Nigerians that with crude oil production hitting 1.65mbd as well as the palliatives rolled out by the Federal Government, normalcy would return in no distant future.

“We have to focus on domestic resource mobilisation. Yes, inflation has increased and the cost of living is high, palliatives have been rolled out. We will get there, no doubt,” he said.

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