Wally Adeyemo Advises Nigeria to Fix FX Issues to Attract FDIs
By Adedapo Adesanya
The United States Deputy Treasury Secretary, Mr Wally Adeyemo, has said that stabilising Nigeria’s weakening Naira is among the top reform priorities that the US considers necessary to develop economic growth in Nigeria.
He made this disclosure while speaking at an event tagged the US-Nigeria Economic Relations: People, Entrepreneurship, and Investment held at the Lagos Business School, Lekki, Lagos, on Monday.
The US envoy, who was born to Nigerian parents, is in Nigeria from September 17 through 19 as part of President Joe Biden’s administration’s efforts to deepen economic and trade relationships on the African continent.
Mr Adeyemo said if the country can unify its exchange rate regime, it will be able to reap the benefits, including a boost to foreign investments that have dropped in the last few years.
“Unifying Nigeria’s foreign exchange rates will create the kind of macroeconomic stability that is essential to attracting foreign investment,” he said.
In June, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sought to unify the exchange rate by allowing the Naira to float, but over the last two months, supply issues have restricted the strengthening of the local currency.
He also warned that the Nigerian government would need to weed out corruption that is hampering integrity in the business environment and the wider financial system, a development that has reduced investors’ trust in Nigeria as a possible investment destination.
“Taking steps to make your banking system more secure will help reduce the ability of criminals, terrorists, and others to use the Nigerian financial system illicitly,” he said.
Mr Adeyemo also commended the Bola Tinubu-led administration for committing to work with the global financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
In his words, “Our government stands ready to help work through these steps and challenges in financial institution supervision, implementing controls in high-risk sectors, and pursuing investigations and prosecutions.”
He lauded the Nigerian spirit, saying, “Nigerians are at the heart of the innovation that drives all of Africa.”