The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is not allocating United States dollars as it has set up an interbank foreign exchange market for anyone interested in buying the greenback through Deposit Money Banks.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said this in an emailed statement on Sunday.
Though Okoroafor did not state the object of his reaction, the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammad II, had on Friday said the country’s foreign exchange management lacked credibility.
“There is one rate for petroleum marketers, there is inter-bank rate, there is another for money market operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram, there is the Bureau De Change rate, and there is a special rate that you get when you call the CBN for a transaction,” he said.
Sanusi, a former Governor of the CBN, spoke at a policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja.
“It is not true that the CBN allocates dollars. There is nowhere in the world that the central bank sits by and allows vicious speculators to solely distort the value of its currency endlessly,” Okoroafor said.
According to him, all central banks intervene to buy or sell in the market to ensure that local currencies are protected from dubious attacks.
Okorafor said, “The channels for advice and contribution of ideas on the current economic situation by all patriotic Nigerians are open. It is rather unfortunate that some people have chosen to play to the gallery and to make statements to disparage those in leadership at this time in total insensitivity to the larger interests of the Nigerian economy.
“We should not forget that the seed of our current economic crisis was planted by the failure of those who occupied public offices in the past but failed to act in the long-term interest of the Nigerian economy. It is easy to criticise from outside.”
He said the CBN would continue to explore reasonable avenues to find solutions to the current economic situation.
Okorafor said, “The challenge we face today is a choice between pandering to the established interest in Nigeria’s speculative economy and the protection of the wages of the real stakeholders who work hard on fixed incomes and are the core victims of naira depreciation.
“Already, Nigerians are waking up to the call to be more productive and look inwards, and to be less dependent on the importation of foreign goods and services.