Cardoso sees ‘positive outcomes’ from recent reforms

Nigerian central bank Governor Olayemi Cardoso said that dollar liquidity in the country’s currency market has risen sharply, pointing to “positive outcomes” from recent reforms.

“As of yesterday, the volume of transactions in our market was over $800 million,” he told Nigerian lawmakers Tuesday in Abuja, the capital. “This is the first time in many years it has achieved this level.”

The naira has fallen 37 per cent against the dollar since Jan. 26, following steps by the central bank that moved it close to its value on the street — part of an ongoing strategy to unify Nigeria’s official and unofficial foreign-exchange markets and boost investment. 

The scarcity of dollars in the domestic market has been a key source of the currency’s weakness, which the central bank has tried to arrest by encouraging Nigerians living abroad to repatriate their money through official channels.

“I want to emphasize that we are now at a turning point,” he said. “I’m confident that positive outcomes are already emerging and will become more apparent in the near future.”

Finance Minister Wale Edun, addressing lawmakers a few minutes later, said that Nigeria had been “on the road to economic disaster” prior to the reforms but was now in a much better place.

“Let us be confident. Let us be calm. Let us be assured,” Edun said. “The way forward is up.”

About Blessing Anaro & Segun Odunewu

View all posts by Blessing Anaro & Segun Odunewu →