THE main opposition candidate for next month’s presidential election in Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, said on Wednesday he would eliminate multiple exchange rates to attract foreign investors.
Nigeria has at least three exchange rates which the central bank introduced at the height of a currency crisis triggered by low oil prices.
Abubakar told Reuters he would also remove a costly fuel subsidy and identify government enterprises to privatise.
Nigeria Industrial Digest recalls that the Organised Private Sector, OPS, Nigeria , had long been advocating for the elimination of multiple exchange rates regime introduced by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Specifically, one of the most active business voices in the country, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has advised the Federal Government to allow a liberalised exchange regime to stop multiple exchange rates in the country.I
Its Director – General, Muda Yusuf, noted that there are over 15 exchange rates being operated in the country starting from the banks to bureau de change operators.
He said this anomaly could only be addressed by introducing a liberalised exchange rate regime where the forces of demand and supply are allowed to determine the exchange rate.
So, if Atiku wins the presidential election next month, the stage may be set for Nigeria to exit the club of countries with multiple exchange rates regime. Its market has been divided into many segments, each with its own foreign exchange (forex) rate – fixed or floating.