In a bid to improve supply and bring in foreign exchange into the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to devalue the naira.
Osinbajo made this public on Monday during the opening ceremony of the Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice president asked the apex bank to increase the exchange rate, which in turn motivates investors to bring n foreign exchange into the country.
The Central Bank’s official rate is N410 to a US dollar, but rates in the parallel market go as high as N570.
Osinbajo said: “As for the exchange rate, I think we need to move our rates to be more reflective of the market as possible
“This, in my own respectful view, is the only way to improve supply. We can’t get new dollars into the system when the exchange rate is artificially low. And everyone knows by how much our reserves can grow.
“So I’m convinced that the demand management strategy currently being adopted by the CBN needs a rethink.
“All those are issues, I’m sure, that when the CBN Governor has time to address, he will be able to address in full.”
Osinbajo asked the CBN to have a connection with the fiscal side of the economy, which includes the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government.
He, however, asked the apex bank to stop competing with the MDAs on some of the government’s interventions.
He said: “There must be synergy between the fiscal and the monetary authority. We must be able to deal with the synergy, we must handle the synergy between the monetary authority, the CBN, and the fiscal side.
“Sometimes, it appears that there is competition, especially on the fiscal side. If you look at some of the interventions, you will find that those interventions are interventions that should be managed by ministries.
“The ministry of industry, trade and investment should handle MSMEs interventions, and we should know what the CBN is doing. In other words, if the CBN is intervening in the MSME sector, it should be with the full cooperation and consent of the ministry of industry.
“Sometimes you will get people who are benefiting more than once because we simply have no line of sight on what is going on, on one side.”