Nigeria Grapples With Currency Reform Challenges Under Tinubu Presidency


In a bid to attract more investment, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu vowed to overhaul the country’s foreign exchange rate policy upon taking office in May 2023. However, the process has encountered obstacles, leading to a significant decline in the value of the naira and ongoing challenges in the foreign exchange market.

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Nigeria, heavily reliant on oil, faced economic challenges due to plummeting crude prices in 2014. To address this, the central bank implemented multiple exchange rates in 2017, aiming to boost liquidity and encourage dollar inflows. However, the system led to confusion, uncertainty, and a currency black market, where the naira traded below the official rate.

Recent Developments:

President Tinubu’s reform announcements initially narrowed the gap between official and parallel rates. Still, the spread has since widened, and the naira continues to trade at a discount on the parallel market due to a shortage of dollars.

Currency Overhaul Attempts:

In June 2023, the central bank announced a move toward a free-floating naira. However, attempts to limit depreciation resulted in a one-off devaluation, and the multiple-rate system persisted. Efforts to enhance competition include allowing licensed traders to post naira-dollar exchange rates online.

Outlook and Challenges:

Governor Olayemi Cardoso, appointed in September 2023, signals a more orthodox approach focused on achieving monetary and price stability. Inflation targeting, rather than controlling the money supply, will guide policies. The monetary policy committee is expected to raise borrowing costs in late February, aiming to curb inflation. However, concerns linger about potential adverse effects on investment and economic growth.

Impact on Investment:

Despite initial optimism following Tinubu’s reforms, foreign investors remain cautious, waiting for a stabilized currency and sufficient returns on Nigerian assets. Companies like GSK Plc and Procter & Gamble Co. have exited due to hard currency shortages. Local businesses fear that a sudden interest rate hike to defend the naira could hamper growth.

In summary, Nigeria grapples with the complexities of currency reform as President Tinubu seeks to attract investment amid ongoing challenges and uncertainties in the foreign exchange market.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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