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Naira’s free fall: NEC seeks urgent review of foreign exchange policy

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA—Following the free fall of the Naira against the Dollar in the foreign exchange market, the National Economic Council, NEC, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to urgently review its foreign exchange policy.

NEC noted that the current exchange rate, which had invariably affected the prices of goods in the market to an all time high, was no longer sustainable.

At the moment, the local currency exchanges N510 to one Dollar.

The development confirmed Vanguard Exclusive report yesterday that the Federal Government needed to take urgent and drastic steps to revive the economy and also save the Naira.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of NEC meeting presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, the Deputy Governor of Nassarawa State, Mr. Silas Aghara, who was joined by his Rivers State counterpart, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and that of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, pleaded for time, patience and understanding of Nigerians to revive the economy.

He said:  “After a brief presentation on forex policy options by the CBN Governor, Council members expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and called for an urgent review of the current forex policy, especially the gap between interbank and the parallel market rates.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, headquaters, Abuja

“The CBN governor sued for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation was being closely managed.

“At today’s council, we were only trying to encourage the CBN governor that given the general outcry in the country, the public  can show understanding and patience with the CBN governor in what he is doing to revive the economy. Generally, we support the position of the CBN and we are calling on Nigerians to equally show understanding in what they are doing.”

Also speaking, the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun stated that the sum of $250m was approved by NEC to be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Funds.

She explained that the approval was made after adopting the report and accounts of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority presented by the Managing Director, Mr. Uche Orii.

Adeosun also hinted that the Excess Crude Accounts where the $250m would be sourced stood at $2,458,382,844.03 as at February 15, 2017.

She said: “Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Uche Orii presented a report to Council on the NSIA annual reports and accounts for the year ended 2015 and update on 2016 activities.

“In its report to NEC, Council members were informed that Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) has the highest ra


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