Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, said on Friday that the apex bank had no intention to devalue the nation’s currency.
He told State House correspondents that the last devaluation took place in February and would remain so for now.
“There has been a lot of talk on whether or not we want to depreciate our currency again.
“The truth is that we had adjusted the currency by depreciating it from N155 to N197 in February this year. “There is no intention to depreciate or adjust the currency any longer’’, he said.
According to him, “the President has been very clear on this; the Vice President has been very clear on this and let me further reiterate our position at the CBN that we are not considering any further depreciation of the currency.’’
He said the focus of the bank was how to deepen the foreign exchange market to make it viable.
“What we are trying to concentrate on right now is how to improve and deepen the foreign exchange market by improving supply of foreign exchange into the market.
“And to do so, we are trying to encourage people to export and earn your export proceeds and use your export proceeds to import whatever you need to import.
“We are also concentrating on how to reduce the import of items that we can produce in the country today.’’
Emefiele said that very soon the CBN would be launching a campaign called PAVE, which means “Produce locally, add value and export your product and earn your foreign exchange for your imports.’’
He said the campaign was the only way producers could support the efforts of CBN in intervening and providing foreign exchange in the market to meet the import needs of the people.
“It is very clear, what we need to do is reduce our propensity to import but we will not depreciate our currency. For now we will not.’’
On the list of items in the import prohibition list, he said had no power to ban the importation of any item.
“What we have done is to exclude certain items that are imported into the country from obtaining foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
“Yes, it is also true we held a stakeholders’ meeting with the organized private sector and prominent and leading private sector stakeholder were at that meeting.
“The purpose was to engage the private sector to make the private sector understand that government realizes that they are engine of growth.
“We also used the opportunity to explain to them the basis and purpose of those policies that we have introduced.
“At the end of that meeting they were very happy, they saw our position and indeed at the end of that meeting some of them provided us with the names of some items that should be included in the list that should be excluded from foreign exchange.
“And I must confess that at this stage, given the determination of some of the organized sectors to say that yes, they produce these items and that we should exclude those items from foreign exchange, we are reviewing that list.
“We may in due course include more items, products that can be produced in Nigeria, in the list of items that will be excluded from foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.’’
Meanwhile the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking means of supporting the Federal Government in its digital payment to the poor.
Dr Mairo Mandara, Country Rep of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Nigeria, gave the indication after the group met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Aso Rock Villa.
“Basically we discussed and explored how the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation can support the government of Nigeria in its digital payment.
“How do we make sure that the very poor, people living below $1.25 a day are included in the formal sector, financial sector, in Nigeria.
“So we are exploring how we could support the government of Nigeria through its conditional cash transfer getting financial services for market women, ensuring that the small holder farmers have financial access’’, she said.
According to Mandara, the VP “shared with us their plans, their ambitions but the most exciting part is that the VP is really working hard to make sure that things are in place and so we have to organize our team and get working as of today.’’