CBN Rubbishes Atiku’s Naira Free Float Plan

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By Dipo Olowookere

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has reacted to comments made by presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Atiku Abubakar, that if elected as President in the next month’s election, he would float the Naira.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Atiku had said he would fire Mr Emefiele and allow the local currency competes on its own with foreign currencies in the market.

But while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, the central bank chief the floating of Naira as suggested by the former Vice President would spell doom for the nation’s currency if implemented.

Mr Emefiele, who urged politicians not to drag the apex bank into politics, stressed that a free float of the Naira would cause capital flight and a massive devaluation.

The CBN Governor, whose five-year tenure ends in June 2019, said the central bank under him remains an independent body, which takes decisions in the best interest of the country.

He said things would have been worse if not for the key decisions taken by the bank to keep the Naira stable at its present level.

“The CBN is an independent body and we will appeal to politicians not to drag us into politics,” Mr Emefiele told reporters after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday.

The apex bank noted that the current system of multiple exchange rates in Nigeria had produced the “most optimal results when compared with other emerging markets in recent times.”

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