Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has assured both Nigerians and investors of ongoing plans to enhance the country’s foreign exchange liquidity.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, also announced the expectation of approximately $10 billion in foreign exchange inflows in the near term.
These inflows are intended to help clear foreign exchange backlogs and stabilize the Nigerian naira.
Speaking at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, President Tinubu acknowledged the challenges faced by the business community in the financial markets and pledged additional foreign exchange liquidity to restore market confidence.
He also emphasized his administration’s dedication to strengthening governance by establishing a performance and result-oriented public and civil service culture and structure.
The President outlined the eight priority items of his administration, including ending poverty, achieving food security, economic growth, job creation, access to capital, inclusivity, security, fairness and rule of law, and anti-corruption.
He mentioned several measures introduced by his government to revitalize the economy, such as a N5 billion intervention to support small businesses and the agriculture sector.
He also announced upcoming initiatives, including a new student loan program and consumer credit schemes.
President Tinubu called on the private sector to support his vision for a greater Nigeria and urged them to bring their ideas, leadership, capital, and collective will to build a future of renewed hope.
He emphasized the importance of a collaborative relationship between the government and the private sector, citing the success of public-private partnerships in transforming Lagos State.
Regarding the foreign exchange backlog, President Tinubu assured, “All foreign exchange future contracts will be honored by this government,” and he expressed confidence in acquiring the necessary foreign exchange to revitalize the economy.
The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, further detailed the measures taken to ease forex market illiquidity, including executive orders to allow cash in the domestic economy to enter the formal money supply and domestic issuance of foreign currency instruments to encourage the provision of foreign exchange.
The government also plans to automate transactions in the entire foreign exchange market to prevent wide arbitrage and punish naira speculators.
As the country grapples with challenges arising from low growth and investment, high forex costs, and increased taxes, the chairman of the National Economic Summit Group, Niyi Yusuf, emphasized the need for strategic shifts to improve the ease and cost of doing business, along with an agenda for creating high-quality jobs and other reforms.
He noted that the nation stands at a critical point in its history and called for immediate, concerted efforts to address the challenges.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso, affirmed the central bank’s commitment to price stability and the creation of a foreign exchange market that is predictable and transparent.
The central bank is preparing a document that will set out the rules of the foreign exchange market to ensure a predictable and stable forex market for all participants, including foreign portfolio investors.
The Federal Government also plans to broaden the official currency market to include additional legitimate participants, such as bureaux de change and financial technology companies.