The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has devalued the Naira to N631 to the dollar from N461.6 it sold at the Importers and Exporters (I&E) window the previous day.
The devaluation came 48 hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the plans of the federal government to unify the country’s exchange rate to stimulate the economy.
In his inaugural speech, minutes after he was inaugurated as the 16th president of the country, Tinubu said, “Monetary policy needs a thorough house cleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.”
There has been a wide margin between the I&E window and the parallel market, a situation that experts say encouraged round-tripping with Bureau de Change operators.
The situation has seen the CBN devise several measures to check the practice as well as completely stop the sale of forex to BDCs.
However, he adds that there could be some benefits from the devaluation. “If it is perceived to be temporary, it may present attractive opportunities for foreign investors to invest in our domestic financial markets. It is not certain, but it is a possibility that FPI (foreign portfolio investments) inflow to Nigeria may temporarily increase.”
2023 budget first casualty – Prof. Uwaleke
On his part, a Professor of Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke said, “The first casualty will be the 2023 Appropriation Bill. It means the 2023 budget, which is predicated on N435 per dollar is dead on arrival.”
He said, no doubt, the devaluation will force down the volume of imports and reduce the pressure in the forex market temporarily.
“But have we thought of the impact it would have on the pump price of fuel and the multiplier effects? How about the knock-on with regard to inflation and interest rates, especially at a time when the inflation rate remains elevated? Is high inflation rate not inimical to investments whether local or foreign?” he said.