Political Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, has said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is not against the Central Bank of Nigeria, but differ because of the disparity between the official rate of dollar and the black market.
Reacting to the major headlines on the matter today, Ojudu said; “In response to headlines from some major new outlets seemingly purporting that the Vice President Mr Yemi Osinbajo is promoting an alternative policy view than that of the President, we would like to clarify that his words referencing an artificially low exchange rate were without the benefit of proper context.
“In the view of the Vice President, the current almost 50% spread between the official rate and parallel market rate is only encouraging arbitrageurs and speculators to bet against the Naira. People who are able to secure dollars at the official rate are perversely incentivised to find ways to sell it at the parallel market rate to benefit from the current arbitrage opportunity to the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.
“His words therefore were meant as an encouragement to the Central Bank to review its de facto exchange rate policy of demand management to promote confidence and liquidity in the system. Increased investor confidence will allow for enough dollar liquidity to prevent spikes in the official-parallel market spread as we are currently witnessing.
“In this way, despite the unfortunate mischaracterisations, the Vice President is aligned with the President’s vision to shield hardworking Nigerians from forced devaluations caused by liquidity crunches as the administration continues to implement policy reforms aimed at encouraging agriculture, industrialisation, and economic diversification.”