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We can’t allow naira to float freely – Emefiele

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the bank cannot allow  faceless and criminally minded people to destroy the currency under…

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the bank cannot allow  faceless and criminally minded people to destroy the currency under the guise of a free float as is being canvassed by some so-called experts.

Emefiele made the remark shortly after Winning the Vanguard Newspaper man of the year award in Lagos.

He said: “It does appear that there is no basis in our economic fundamentals to support the prevailing exchange rate at the parallel market.  The only logical explanation to the high rates in that market therefore is that a lot of illegal and criminal activities are being carried out there.

“I obviously cannot be of help to people or businesses that are into speculative FX demand. My promise instead to this group, whether foreign or local, is that the CBN will make sure they lose money,” he added.

His response is coming on the heels of sustained call on the CBN by some economic experts  to allow the naira float fully, and allow forces of demand and supply to determine the exchange rate.

Also defending the 41 items excluded from accessing forex, the apex bank governor expressed reservation at why the country should spend scarce FX resources paying for things it  can produce  in Nigeria. “I believe that only entrenched interests, who do not have the interests of ordinary Nigerians at heart, would want us to do so,” he added.

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