“FG not taking right forex decision; we’ve been deceiving ourselves” – Atiku Bagudu

The Federal Government has admitted not taking the right decision in tackling the foreign exchange crisis bedevilling the nation’s economy.

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos at the weekend, said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy reforms will improve the exchange rate.

According to him, countries that have liberalised their foreign exchange market, like Nigeria, have enjoyed better exchange rates, expressing confidence that Nigeria’s foreign exchange market will perform better.

Bagudu said global indices had shown that things would improve, advising local and foreign investors to take steps in this direction.

He said, “Mr. President has signed two Executive Orders. We have been deceiving ourselves; we have run a system whereby we no longer have dollars or foreign exchange. So, even if you desire to enjoy repatriation, you don’t have to, because you have boxed yourself into a corner. It has to be a willing-buyer, willing-seller market.

“There are things you can’t control. If somebody makes legislation and says that every bag of yams will cost N100, the people who hold the yams will just take them quickly back to the store and lock them. So, the steps taken by Mr. President and the Central Bank may be inconvenient now in terms of the fluctuation; but, we believe it will stabilise and get better. Countries that have chosen that route have improved on average in the long run”, he further stated.

Recall that on June 14 2023, the CBN floated the Naira. Since then, the country’s forex exchange market has been fluctuating.

As of Friday, the Naira was quoted at N890.54 per dollar at the official foreign exchange from N460.702 per dollar in May 2023.

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