Naira free float, Central Bank of Nigeria, Emefiele replies Atiku, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Analysts

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, stated yesterday during the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, that any move to float the naira is tantamount to a disaster for the economy.

Emefiele’s comment came as an indirect response to People Democratic Party’s Presidential aspirant, Mr Atiku Abubakar, who, last week, criticised the CBN’s policies under the current CBN Governor.

Recall that Atiku had also threatened to sack the man if he eventually wins the February 2019 presidential election.

Meanwhile, in his reaction, Mr Emefiele said that Monetary Policy Committee members reviewed Mr Atiku’s plan before concluding that it would be a bad move.

“Normally, the Central Bank as an independent institution is apolitical but it is also important that at the MPC meeting today we asked ourselves if there is any merit in it to begin to say that we should look at free-floating the currency or that we should allow free import of goods that we have restricted. The MPC came to a conclusion that this was a wrong premise.

“We cannot be talking about allowing import of items that can be produced in the country today, exporting jobs from Nigeria to foreign countries, and we say we have the interest of Nigeria at heart? We don’t agree with anybody. It is a wrong premise to say that you will allow imports to just flood the country just because you want to please anybody. It is not in our interest.”

Speaking further, the CBN boss argued if the exchange rate becomes free float, it would result in the following negative implications:

  1. It will result in capital flight from the country.
  2. Lead to a massive depreciation/devaluation of the naira.
  3. Cause a currency crisis in Nigeria.

The CBN Governor then went further to state that the apex bank is getting even more aggressive in its bid to curtail the importation of goods into the country.

And still in a subtle reaction to Mr Atiku’s criticism, Emefiele stated that he has done well as CBN’s Governor. He backed this up by citing the construction of Dangote Refinery, which he implied might never have happened if not for the policy direction taken by the CBN on importation. And as the refinery nears completion, Emefiele is hopeful that Nigeria will end the importation of fertiliser soon.

He concluded by saying that the CBN has always been apolitical and will try as much as possible to remain that way. However, whenever it is dragged into political matters, the apex bank will always clear its name, Emefiele said.


  1. Nairametrics do your job as a business news site. What is the core job of CBN? To keep interest rate( cost of money) low. So why is the CBN governor dealing with fiscal\executive issues of importation. Do your job educated and inform your viewers don’t just report without balancing with facts and figures.

  2. I did not see this “Did atiku told some americans in Bloomberg,that the naira will be floated and for what reason,the important question ,I will ask now “” is atiku gone mad and senile in his old age” the cbn have gone tremendous pressure by white foreigners to float the naira,and he almost caved in.
    Atiku have not given us the reason or why he decided to interferes in the idpependence of the the cbn. Peter Obi is there and allows atiku to makes such outrageous statement.if you allows the naira to float and interfere in the independence of the cbn,have you considered the consequences of your action


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