Nige­ria's pres­i­dent re­jects IMF calls to lift FX curbs

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Nige­ria's Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has re­jected calls by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) to lift the West African coun­try's for­eign ex­change curbs and al­low a more flex­i­ble rate for its cur­rency.

"No," he told pan-Arab Al Jazeera tele­vi­sion in an in­ter­views posted on the sta­tion's web­site, when asked whether he would con­sider end­ing the fixed naira rate to the dol­lar and de­value the cur­rency.

He said hard cur­rency curbs were nec­es­sary as Africa's top oil pro­ducer could no longer af­ford to im­port as much as it had in the past due to dwin­dling oil rev­enues.

Last month, the IMF called on Nige­ria to lift the curbs im­posed by the cen­tral bank last year and let the naira re­flect "mar­ket forces" more closely, as the re­stric­tions had sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected the pri­vate sec­tor.

The naira trades ver­sus the dol­lar on the sec­ondary mar­ket some 40 per­cent below the of­fi­cial rate as the cen­tral bank has lim­ited ac­cess to hard cur­rency to pre­serve its fall­ing cur­rency re­serves.

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