Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the country is substantially re-evaluating its foreign exchange policy, adding that a flexible approach should be expected soon.
“We expect that with a more flexible policy, we will be able to attract more capital into the system and ease business,” Osinbajo said at an investors’ conference held by Renaissance Capital in Lagos on Wednesday, adding, “We expect that very soon we will see a more flexible approach to the currency.
“We believe there must be some substantial re-evaluation of the foreign exchange policy, especially with a view to increasing foreign exchange supply, encouraging capital importation and also being able to allow free flow of remittances…we expect that with a more flexible policy, we will be able to attract more capital into the system and ease business.”
The vice president said the executive was “not responsible for monetary policy,” adding that he hoped the Central Bank of Nigeria would act soon on the policy changes he mentioned.
The collapse in the price of oil, Nigeria’s main export, has caused a huge shock in the country, the Financial Times reported.
Despite the decline in foreign exchange earnings due to the tumbling oil price, President Muhammadu Buhari has held tightly to his view that the naira should not be devalued further. Since taking office nearly a year ago, he has repeatedly voiced his support for the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s pegging of the naira’s official rate at 197-199 against the dollar since March 2015.
“We have effectively liberalised downstream sector of oil with a N145 price ceiling. Just not enough forex to continue NNPC fuel importation,” Osinbajo said.
He said he hoped to persuade the CBN to change some polices to improve foreign exchange supply.
He also said the government would make sure that the banks survive an economic crisis due to a slump in oil revenues.
“We will do anything to ensure that the banks remains viable,” he added.
On the renewed attacks on oil installations, he said, “We want to increase security around installations and we have to use a bit more technology and a dedicated force.”