An economic expert, Prof Uche Uwaleke, on Wednesday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN ) to ensure the economy was sufficiently diversified before considering the option of floating the naira.
Uwaleke said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He also urged the apex bank to sustain its intervention in the Forex market as it had resulted in increased supply of Forex in the economy.
“In the light of the favourable international oil market condition, the CBN interventions in the Forex market should be sustained.
“As long as the source of the Forex remains chiefly oil, the apex bank should continue to ignore calls to float the naira until the export base of the economy is sufficiently diversified.
According to Uwaleke, the gap between the official and parallel market Forex rates is narrowing by the day due to improved liquidity in the Forex market engendered by the CBN.
He said the apex bank’s sustained interventions had resulted in improved supply such that some Deposit Money Banks were unable to take up all that was offered by the CBN.
“The recent Forex rules have also resulted in improved access to Forex, especially for invisibles to the extent that banks are now encouraging their customers to come for BTAs etc.
“In view of the less stringent conditions attached, the requirement for tax clearance certificate has been removed.
“The CBN’s directive with respect to opening offices at airports and the use of dedicated teller points by commercial banks has also contributed to improving access to forex.”