Dollar crash: Economist calls for proper monitoring

Growing reserves positive outlook for Nigeria – Expert
United Bank for Africa

Prof. Akpan Ekpo, an economist, has advocated for the proper monitoring of agents who have access to Forex to import raw materials and equipment for local manufacturing.

Ekpo, Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), told Newsverge on Tuesday that this was to avoid round-tripping by the agents.

He said that what the Central Bank of Nigeria did was to intervene by making more dollars available in the market.

According to him, if demand of Forex continue to exceed supply, prices will continue to rise due to speculation.

He said that higher prices hurt the poor more, adding that already the incidence of poverty was quite high.

“There has been an increase in reserve hence, in the short-term the domestic currency has to be supported, to narrow the misalignment between the official and parallel rates.

“Whether it is sustainable will depend on the availability of foreign exchange and how timely it is managed,’’ Ekpo said.

He said that in the long-term, the economy must earn foreign exchange from other sources other than from the export of crude oil.

Ekpo added that the structure of the economy must change in favour of production of goods or add value to goods for export, to earn foreign exchange.

“We must consume made in Nigeria goods and services and improve on the quality.

“Government should discourage the consumption of imported goods and services that can be obtained locally,’’ he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had in the last one week supplied a total of 570 million dollars to the economy, comprising 80 million dollars for Basic Travel Allowance , Medical Fees and School Fees.

Another 350 million dollars is to be injected into the economy this week.