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Naira tumbles further, 1060/$ as MAN kicks at policy reversal

Naira tumbles further, 1060/$ as MAN kicks at policy reversal

Naira continued to weaken, further exacerbating the problems that have been festering in Nigeria’s currency exchange market.

According to a market monitor from yesterday, the Naira dropped from N1,100 to USD1.0 in the middle of the day on the parallel market before leveling off at N1,060 in the main trading centres of Lagos. In the parallel market, it had been trading at about N1,025 for the previous month.

Dealers anticipated further depreciation starting today, even though the exchange rate at the official Nigerian Forex Market, the Investors & Exporters (I&E) window, gained some respite yesterday, hovering around N790.61/$1. This was in contrast to the previous day’s downward rate of N848/$1.

Manufacturers have been demanding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reverse its decision to bring back the 43 commodities that it had previously prohibited from its foreign exchange window.

Read Also: Naira among worst-performing African currencies —World Bank

They argued that the prohibition was required to prevent an impending employment crisis, job uncertainty, and economic collapse in the country.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Basic Metal, Iron and Steel Products sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Lekan Adewoye, while speaking on a TVC Business Programme, said: “For items that can be produced in Nigeria, such manufacturer ought to be encouraged. This directive will further kill the manufacturing industry that is already struggling to survive.

“The problem is about policy somersaults, some of our members who have outrightly invested in backward integration will now start to regret this move because everyone who can assess FOREX will claim to be an importer, forcing sincere manufacturers to close shop and increasing the numbers of jobless persons.

“Nigerian manufacturers don’t really have any competitive advantage over those in other developing countries, at best, what you have is competitive parity, because something has to be an advantage if your competitors don’t have it. The little incentive that the government has provided now has been removed by the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Speaking further on why manufacturers are leaving the country, Adewoye said: “Lack of consultation, I can speak for manufacturers because we always try our best to engage the government on some critical issues and decisions, but when some of these decisions are being taken, manufacturers are not being consulted.

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