The Executive Director, African Network For Peace and Good Governance (ANPG), Bede Aneke, has proffered solution on how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) can boost the dwindling naira and make it stronger than dollar.

Aneke said the country need growth in non-oil exports leveraging new initiatives to boost investment in solid minerals and improve domestic capacity to export.

New Naira Notes

He said the initiatives by the government to boost forex liquidity through crude oil forward sales by the NNPC and steps taken to securitize NLNG dividends to generate short-term forex liquidity would assist a lot.

According to him, government should summon the same political courage it used to remove fuel subsidies to eliminate the sale of dollars on the streets.

“The USD should only be held by banks and changed into Naira via bank accounts at a market determined rate, adding that we can implement a cashless policy for the Naira, we should be able to do the same for the USD held in cash by private individuals.

“We should start pricing our crude oil in naira. This will definitely help but the fear is that people may not buy, but I’m sure it will give the naira some edge because we start looking for the naira to exchange for crude and that would help our reserve.

“The government should immediately improve the revenue-generating capacity of the country outside oil,” he stressed.

He noted that to maintain market equilibrium, the forces of demand and supply must be the same, noting that the problem with our currency was demand for foreign currencies was higher than the supply, most especially the United States Dollar.

“One other way to actually tackle this problem of currency depreciation is to look at both the demand side and the supply side.

“Who are the group of people looking for US Dollars? They are people paying for school fees abroad, importers, travelers, medical tourists, businessmen and speculators.

“Then question now is how do we regulate this demands? CBN should provide answers to this. If CBN can reduce the demand and increase the supply, then the problem will disappear.

“The foreign exchange market should be sanitised, as it is absurd to see people hawking currencies on the roadside in the name of black market.

“The black market should be eliminated. It is only in Nigeria that people sell besides roadside, you cannot find that in a sane country even in Africa. You cannot buy dollars by the roadside in South Africa or even in Ghana,” he said.

Aneke who is a Public Analyst, added that these informal markets made it difficult to get accurate data of the foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria as it gives room for round-tripping and unjustifiable speculations.

He advocated that the hospitals should be well-equipped to reduce medical tourism just as he argued that if the nation’s education system can be revamped and meet global standards, then the demand pressure for US Dollar to pay school fees would be reduced.

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