NESG pleads with CBN to harmonise multiple exchange rates


The Nigeria Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has canvassed harmonisation of the country’s multiple exchange rates (forex) rates so as to eliminate the attendant adverse effects on the economy.

 It said multiple foreign exchange markets with significant price differences was capable of creating room for speculation, round tripping cronyism and outright graft and as such there was no better time to harmonise the foreign exchange rates than now.

Naira - exchange rates

 The group stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of its Board Meeting recently in Abuja, insisting that failure to address the current prevailing condition of multiple exchange rates will continue to reduce the much needed inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and Diaspora remittances.

 It stressed that said international investors being savvy and rational will not invest where there is a real risk to their ability to access and repatriate investment proceeds or when the functional currency is in sporadic depreciation.

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 The NESG also advised the Federal Government to explore a systemic subsidy removal programme that cushions the impact on the most vulnerable populations through a well-coordinated and effectively transmitted social protection scheme.

 Citing the report of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) recently released by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, which stated the rising fuel subsidy costs had continued to exceed unsustainable levels, the NESG said: “It is clear that the current fuel subsidy regime’s debilitating impact on our fiscal fragility cannot be over-stated.”

 It also urged the Federal Government to urgently initiate a pragmatic national security strategy that would unconditionally guarantee the safety of life and property within the country and frowned on the ongoing face-off between the government and the Academic Staff Union

 of the Universities (ASUU), saying the six months strike had become a national embarrassment.

  “The increased tension and apprehension within the citizens arising from the effect of the government to do all within their means to douse the tensions and assuage the feelings and sensitivities of the people through their actions and conduct.

 “The NESG calls for a new social contract between the government and the people of Nigeria to reduce the growing trust deficit. The goodwill that the government enjoys from its people is not different from the operation of a bank account,” it added.

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