Nigeria vows to stabilize currency in 2016

December 21, 2015 12:35 pm 

LAGOS, Dec. 21 — The Nigerian government on Sunday said it is evolving additional measures to boost the nation's economy and stabilize the naira.

Godwin Emefeile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, stated this in Abuja, the nation's capital, adding that the Nigerian economy was not as bad as being portrayed when compared with other economies in Africa.

He declined to give details of the measures and modalities for their implementation.

He advised importers to restrict their imports to raw materials and equipment rather than finished products and food in order to reduce the pressure on the nation's scarce foreign exchange.

This is part of efforts to save more foreign exchange and stabilize the nation's currency, the apex bank chief told reporters.

The solution to free fall of the naira is by controlling the demand for foreign currencies such as the dollar, he added.

Emefiele said the country should go back to the farm to produce what was needed.

He blamed unscrupulous businessmen who engaged in illicit activities for exerting intense pressure on the dollar and other currencies.

According to him, the apex bank has ensured reasonable stability in the value of the naira by keeping official exchange to the US dollar between 196 and 197 to the dollar.

Emefeile advised Nigerians to always approach their banks for their request for foreign exchange at the official rate as against patronizing the black market operators.

The CBN boss, however, insisted that the 22 percent depreciation of the naira was reasonable when compared with other emerging economies adversely affected by global economic recession.

"Zambia, for example, has depreciated its currency by about 48 percent, Angola by 25 percent while brazil depreciated its currency by about 48 percent from October last year till now," he said.

Emefeile said CBN had created the enabling environment to encourage the growth of small scale businesses through the grant of soft loans to small business operators.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the new administration in its efforts at easing the sufferings of Nigerians. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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