Foreign exchange: Presidency Signals Dollar Hoarders on Impending Doom

The Presidency has alerted dollar speculators on shock of their lives through policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Vice President Kashim Shettima stated this in Abuja at the lecture and launch of a book titled, “Cowries to Cashless,” which coincided with the 65th anniversary of the apex bank in Nigeria.

This is coming as CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso said his leadership is currently working towards achieving a 95 percent access to formal financial services by Nigerians.

Speaking at the occasion, Vice President Shettima said Tinubu was far ahead of dollar speculators.

The gathering, which comprises economic experts, scholars, businessmen and women, captain of industries and policy makers, brainstormed over “The future of money, digital space and Central Bank of Nigeria.”

Represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs, Dr. Tope Fasua, the VP said the naysayers should be afraid now.

He said: “For those who are speculating and praying and wishing that the currency would become nonsense, I believe that the policies are being rolled out by the Central Bank and the government that I serve, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will shock some of them very soon.”

When asked to explain what he meant further, the economic adviser said: “You need to listen to the agenda, the man himself. And you see that the level at which he is thinking is far ahead of most of us.

“You know, he has some very great ideas coming up. Some of them is what you’ve seen reversed in the fall in the value of the naira, but he has also challenged us to review forward many of the targets. For example, the idea that Nigeria’s economy will get to a trillion dollars. He wants to achieve it by 2026.

“People thought Naira will continue to lose value and that was what I was mentioning. So, when someone is a visionary, and that’s what leadership is about, leadership is about vision, and the man has the right vision for this country, and to back it up the passion, the passion for the country, the belief in the country. For anyone that has that, you have to be fearful betting against his policies.

“Like I said, you know, a weak currency is not something to brag about. And you have to be strategic. If you want to position your exports properly, you have to be strategic, even in terms of the value of your currency. So you’re gonna see all of these, including efforts from the fiscal side, the Minister of Finance, Coordinating Minister of the Economy. We have patriots running the economy right now. And naysayers have to be very, very afraid.”

In his keynote address, the CBN governor, who was represented by Director Banking Supervision Mustapha Haruna, said the country was going through economic challenges occasioned by a number of macroeconomic issues, saying these could link to some of the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The CBN boss said he believed the book (Cowries to Cashless) would eloquently capture the evolutionary journey in the history of the CBN, adding that he expected a number of landmark developments — especially from the use of cowries to manillas and to the more contemporary and modern era of cashless options.

The CBN governor spoke on the journey of the apex bank particularly with regards to the phenomenal transformation of the Nigerian payment system in the last two or three decades.

This transformation, Cardoso noted, had been deepened by the implementation of the cashless policy.

“One of our strategic priorities in this effort is to foster financial inclusion and I’m very sure you will also relate to the progress we have made based on the current numbers.

“We have financial inclusion in the neighborhood of about 64 percent. Over 64 percent of Nigerians have access to formal financial services. Our vision is to push the boundaries to over 95 percent and we are well on course, in achieving that objective,” the CBN governor said.

Cardoso assured that the CBN would continue to collaborate with the key stakeholders, particularly the fiscal authorities, to ensure it addressed a number of the essential issues and challenges that the nation currently faced.

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