After several months of battling with restless Nigerians who have been confused with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its policies as they affect the economy, the apex bank had finally admitted that it cannot live up to one of its most important obligations.
It is the apex bank’s responsibility to ensure that enough foreign exchange is available to buyers, but the bank has said it just cannot meet up with this responsibility. According to the bank, Nigeria has a monthly forex demand of about $4.8 billion. However, it says it cannot handle that volume of forex demand.
Of the $4.8 billion forex demand in September, the CBN was able ot meet just 13.75% in the $660.17 million it dispensed to 1342 manufacturers and allied firms in September for the importation of raw materials, plants and machinery.
Citing reasons for its inadequacy in this sector, the CBN, through its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, cited the usual reasons Nigerians have come to hear in a daily basis- dwindling foreign reserves attributable to low production and drop in crude oil prices, enormous appetite of Nigerians for foreign products, the billions of daollars Bureaus de Change have been allocated over the past administrations and how they could have been used to improve the economy.
While these reasons may have some truth in them, Nigerians have been served this plate so many times within the last one year that the dish is already stale. It is along this line that the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, explained that while the CBN may be right in its justifications for some of its actions, there is a need for it to do more, specifically citing the need for a holistic and integrated approach to addressing the concerns in the economy which would necessitate a fusion of fiscal and monetary policies.