The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has stated that Nigeria’s exchange market saw a significant increase in transaction volume, reaching $800 million, marking the first notable surge in quite some time.
He made this claim when speaking to House of Representatives members during the sectoral discussion on the economy.
“We are not a turning point and the bold reforms on the way across different segments of the economy, though initially challenging, are aimed at addressing these challenges sustainably,” he said on Tuesday.
“I am confident that positive outcomes are already emerging and will become more apparent in the near future. The dedicated and relentless efforts being made are certain to bring about significant and positive changes for our economy.
“On that note, I am happy to inform you that as of yesterday, the volume of transactions on our market was over $800 million. This is the first time in many years that it has achieved this level.”
According to Cardoso, recent reports from international rating agencies like Fitch, Moldes, Standard, and Poor’s and commendations from the World Bank have reflected a positive trajectory with an upgrade to Nigeria’s rating from stable to positive.
Cardoso acknowledged the high cost of living and the severe inflation the nation is facing and said the Federal Government is collaborating with the top bank to address the concerns of lawmakers and Nigerians alike.
He clarified that although the assessment of Nigeria’s economy is encouraging, the lawmakers’ worries about the exchange rate are still present.
“I acknowledge that despite these commendations, the concerns regarding the cost of living and currency rate remain. This is a major topic of concern in our villages, towns, and cities.
“The urgency of the matter is not lost on us at the Central Bank and I want to assure you that we are working tirelessly with colleagues from across government including the leadership of this House to bring lasting solutions,” he stated.
Declining Inflation In 2024
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria has experienced continuous inflationary trends over the past 11 months, with December 2023 marking the peak.
The annual inflation rate climbed to 28.92% in December, up from 28.20% in November, indicating a 0.72% point increase compared to the previous month.
Looking ahead to 2024, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided assurance to lawmakers that the nation’s inflation is expected to decrease to 21%.
“Inflationary pressures are expected to decline in 2024 due to the CBN’s inflationary targeting policy aiming to rein in inflation to 21.4 per cent, aided by improved agricultural productivity and easy global supply chain pressures.
“The Nigerian foreign exchange market is currently facing increased demand pressures causing a continuous decrease in the value of naira.”
Cardoso elaborated on the steps taken by the central bank to tackle the ongoing depreciation of the naira.
He emphasized the necessity for the economy to generate revenue via exports to strengthen the naira. Cardoso stated that the CBN intends to foster confidence by ensuring stability in consumer prices and the foreign exchange market.
He is optimistic that the bank’s policy initiatives will have a favorable effect on inflation.