Forex for medical, education tourism more than Nigeria’s external reserves-Cardoso

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, says the total quantum for medical and education tourism in Nigeria is more than the country’s external reserves.

He made this known when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Banking and other Financial Institutions, and National Planning.

He said one of the measures to control such was for Nigerians to moderate demands on forex.

“In establishing credibility, there are certain things that we needed to do.

“We must moderate our demands for forex. Where there are opportunities to substitute locally, we should.

“The total quantum for education and medical are more than our external reserves.

“If we are able to up our game on education, medicals, there will be no need for our people to go abroad.,”he said.

The governor added that other factors contributing to volatility of the Naira included speculative forex demand, inadequate forex supply, increased capital outflows and excess liquidity.

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“The Nigerian foreign exchange market was facing increased demand pressures, leading to continuous decline in the value of the Naira.

“To address exchange rate volatility, a comprehensive strategy has been initiated to enhance liquidity in the forex markets.

This includes unifying forex market segments, clearing outstanding forex obligations, introducing new operational mechanisms for BDCs and IMTOs,.

Other strategies according to him are, enforcing the Net Open Position limit, Open Market Operations and adjusting the remunerable Standing Deposit Facility cap among others.

According to him, these measures, aimed at ensuring a more market-oriented mechanism for exchange rate determination, will boost foreign exchange inflows, stabilise the exchange rate and minimise its pass-through to domestic inflation.

Cardoso said moderation on the demand for dollars was the watchword, adding that the CBN could not perform any magic in stabilising the Naira.

The CBN governor said measures put in place by the apex bank recently were yielding results,  with inflow of about 1billion dollars into the economy.

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On inflation,  Cardoso said the apex bank’s target was to moderate it to 21.4 per cent.

He added that the adoption of inflation-targeting framework involved clear communication and collaboration with fiscal authorities to achieve price stability, job opportunities among others.

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