Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

BY EMEKA EJERE

There is enough foreign exchange (forex) for Nigeria to meet her obligations, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has assured.

Emefiele gave the assurance at the end of yesterday’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting, in Abuja, where it held the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent and retained all other parameters by maintaining the Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent; and the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

He was responding to concerns that some customers complained of scarcity of forex at the banks and that they could not pay their children’s school fees, abroad.

Emefiele disclosed that the nation’s foreign reserve stood at $36. 5 billion as at the end of last month, representing a rise from its $34. 5 billion position in the preceding month.

He said, “There is enough foreign exchange for people to meet their obligations .  If you have forex obligations, they will be met.  There is no need to panic or for everyone to rush to the bank at the same time and create an atmosphere of panic and give some people the opportunity to rip-off innocent people.

“CBN disburses not less than $80 million to banks weekly.  In fact we will create a help-desk where people can call the CBN directly to complain if you need forex to pay school fees or BTA and say, ‘I went to such and such a bank and was told there if no forex.’”

Mr. Emefiele also explained that the nation has not changed its foreign exchange management policy, as the apex bank has continued to adopt the managed-floating strategy.

His words, “Nigeria has not changed it foreign exchange policy.  CBN, as the organisation that has the core mandate to manage the foreign exchange, has continued to watch the market and intervenes in the market, depending on its readings of the market.

“It might interest you to know that CBN has not intervened in the E&I (Export and Import) Window since January.  The exchange rate has moved at a point to N409 /$1, N412/$1 and even N4013/$1.  That is how it should be.”