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Divisions emerge at CBN over weakening Naira

10 March 2016, 11:37Okoro Chinedu

Lagos – Calls to devalue the Naira are reportedly dividing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

This comes amid the local currency losing value against major currencies following the weakening oil prices in the international markets.

The MPC has resisted calls to devalue but Rand Merchant Bank said, “There is dissension among the MPC ranks, or at least that’s what the minutes of the last committee gathering suggest.”

The financial firm said one of the more outspoken MPC members, Dr Adedoyin Salami, advised his counterparts in January to devalue the exchange rate to USD/NGN220 and allow it to trade within a 5 percent band.

He is quoted as saying the absence of an exchange rate management policy had diminished Nigeria's attractiveness as a destination for international capital flows.

Also read: Falling CBN reserves lead to devaluation call

The International Monetary Fund echoed the sentiment last month.

"However, Dr Salami’s proposal fell on deaf ears as the committee opted to maintain its FX (foreign exchange) stance — a mentality which is likely to persist in the short term," RMB said.

The institution said President Muhammadu Buhari’s stern opposition to a more flexible exchange rate would do little to calm market anguish and quell volatility in the parallel market.

"The current FX situation is impractical. Ultimately, the deterioration in Nigeria’s dual deficits will necessitate a larger exchange rate adjustment to correct the trade and fiscal imbalances," RMB said. 

- CAJ News

Tags cbn naira

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