Mr. President, Make Us A Market
Feyi Fawehinmi

While I fundamentally don’t disagree that a single market will eliminate round tripping and provide a market equilibrium price for the Naira. The bigger issue is exports, countries devalue their currency to make their exports cheaper and preferred to other parts of the world, the case in point being China for example. However, Nigeria primarily exports commodities whether it is oil, gas or agricultural products that have a standard price in dollars at the international commodity exchanges. That means that Nigeria unless we find a way to export services or value added product will continue to be a price taker in the forex markets. It is a conundrum that has been with us for a long time. Devaluing the currency with nothing to export will only lead to importing inflation since we import everything anyways.

The president and his team might have limited choices but choosing to prioritize what we spend our incoming official dollars on to drive growth, improve infrastructure and fulfill all the goals that they have. Anyone who needs dollars to do anything outside the priority list would just have to find alternative sources of funding. It is not the perfect tool, but I am not sure Nigeria has too many options on the table. Long live the federal republic of Nigeria.

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